• সোমবার , ১৫ জুলাই ২০২৪

The final hours of Jamal Khashoggi


প্রকাশিত: ২:৪৫ পিএম, ২৩ অক্টোবর ১৮ , মঙ্গলবার

নিউজটি পড়া হয়েছে ১৭৩ বার

Gavin Fernando : THE last few hours of Jamal Khashoggi’s life have been revealed in images published by Turkish media outlets.The Saudi journalist can be seen holding hands with Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz, as they visit the local marriage office and enter their apartment block in the hours leading up to his fatal visit to the consulate.In the wake of his death, Ms Cengiz said she has been the subject of abuse from online Saudi trolls who have questioned the authenticity of their relationship.

“A severe smear campaign has been initiated in Saudi Arabia against myself,” she told Turkish daily newspaper Sabah on October 11, more than a week after her fiance disappeared. “This is being carried out by both Saudi-supported news agencies and (internet) trolls.

“This is, of course, quite saddening. Such reflexes alone show that there is much suspicion about the issue.”The new photos and footage clearly show the couple holding hands as they leave the marriage office together.The photos back up Ms Cengiz’s account that the couple had bought an apartment and intended to marry as soon as they received the appropriate paperwork from the Saudi consulate.

In a heartfelt New York Times piece which ran earlier this month, the doctoral student said the couple had been “cheerful” the morning they travelled to the consulate.“We were going to browse appliances for our new home and meet with our friends and family members over dinner,” she wrote. “When we arrived at the consulate, he went right in. He told me to alert the Turkish authorities if I did not hear from him soon.”

She said the pair bonded over their “shared passion for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression” when they met at a conference in Istanbul.“I had planned a party, inviting his closest friends to surround him with the love and warmth that he had missed,” she wrote. “We would have been married now.”

She also said Khashoggi saw himself as a “lonely patriot” who was “using his pen for the good of his country”.Of the Saudi Government, she said: “If the allegations are true, and Jamal has been murdered by the errand boys of Mohammed bin Salman, he is already a martyr.“Oppression never lasts forever,” she said. “Tyrants eventually pay for their sins.”

She also addressed reports US President Donald Trump is seeking to invite her to the White House, saying: “If he makes a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation.”Two nights ago, Ms Cengiz made a farewell tweet to her late partner, saying: “They took your bodily presence from my world. But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever. My darling #jkhashoggi”.

A man appearing to wear Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes left the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul following his killing there, according to a new surveillance video, while a member of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office around the same time, reports said on Monday.

The reports by CNN and the Turkish daily Salah came just a day before Prince Mohammed’s high-profile investment summit is to begin in Riyadh and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised that details of Khashoggi’s killing “will be revealed in all its nakedness”.

A man appearing to wear Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes seen leaving the consulate.A man appearing to wear Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes seen leaving the consulate.Source:SuppliedMeanwhile, Turkish crime-scene investigators swarmed a garage on Monday night in Istanbul where a Saudi consular vehicle had been parked.

All this yet again adds to the pressure Saudi Arabia faces over the slaying of the Washington Post columnist.The kingdom’s claim on Saturday that Khashoggi died in a “fistfight” met international scepticism and allegations of a cover-up to absolve the 33-year-old Crown Prince of direct responsibility.

Turkish media reports and officials maintain that a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul on October 2, knowing Khashoggi would arrive for a document he needed to get married. Once he was inside the diplomatic mission, the Saudis accosted the journalist, cut off his fingers, killed and dismembered the 59-year-old.CNN aired surveillance video on Monday showing a man apparently wearing Khashoggi’s dress shirt, suit jacket and pants.

It cited a Turkish official as describing the man as a “body double” and a member of the Saudi team sent to Istanbul to target him.The man is seen in the footage walking out of the consulate via its back exit, then taking a taxi to Istanbul’s famed Sultan Ahmed Mosque, where he went into a public bathroom, changed back out of the clothes and left.

Later, the state-run broadcaster TRT also reported that a man who entered the consulate building was seen leaving the building in Khashoggi’s clothes. In the days after Khashoggi vanished, Saudi officials initially said that he had left the consulate, implying premeditation on the part of the Saudi team.