Khashoggi's fiancee urges Turkey to pursue justice from Saudi Arabia
The Turkish fiancee of slain Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi has urged Turkey to insist on justice even as relations with Saudi Arabia improve.
The fiancee of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, said Turkey must pursue its quest for justice, even amid improving relations with Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with AFP, Cengiz said she doesn't believe it is "in anyone's best interest to shut it down completely," referring to the investigation.
Cengiz was waiting for Khashoggi outside the Consulate when he was killed. The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic had gone to the Consulate to get paperwork for his wedding to Cengiz. He was dismembered there, and his body was never discovered.
His fiancee revealed that "in order for such a thing to not happen again, in order for this matter to at least reach the best possible level in moral and legal terms, (Turkey) should not abandon this case."
In November, she submitted an open letter in The Washington Post requesting that Justin Bieber postpone his concert in Saudi Arabia.
The death provoked an outcry, with western intelligence assessment finding the Kingdom's ruler, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), guilty of ordering the assassination. He was acquitted nevertheless.
At the time, the murder had strained relations between Ankara and Riyadh, with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that the order to assassinate came "from the highest levels" of the Saudi government, though he did not identify MBS.
Turkey has spent the last two years attempting to mend relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Erdogan said in January that he will pay a visit to Riyadh, which would come at a difficult time for Turkey, with inflation reaching a 20-year high of about 49%.
When asked if she was dissatisfied, Cengiz disclosed that "not because my country has made peace with Saudi Arabia and that this issue is closing, but ultimately, no matter how fiercely we defended it, on a national basis, on a state basis, on a president basis ... now everything is starting to go back to the way it was, as if nothing had happened. I am inevitably disappointed about this."
Saudi murder squad lives in seven-star establishment
For almost two years, there has been little progress in the case, and reports have come to light disclosing that Saudi intelligence has divulged that the Saudi hit squad convicted of killing Jamal Khashoggi are actually enjoying their freedom comfortably in "seven-star" establishments inside a government-funded compound in Riyadh.
Witnesses have refused to reveal their identities fearing the reaction of Saudi state security and MBS. The witnesses confirm the sightings of Tubaigy, Abahussein, and Madani occurred in late 2019 and early 2020. Abahussein and Madani are known to be state security intelligence officials and their employer, Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Howairini, has been spotted with them occasionally and seen using the compound gym.
On December 7, French media reported the arrest of Khaled Al-Otaibi, one of the Saudis suspected of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
French media said that Al-Otaibi was preparing to leave from Charles de Gaulle airport while he was preparing to head to Riyadh, noting that Al-Otaibi was wanted by the Interpol after Turkey issued an arrest warrant against him for an assassination charge.
MBS has been reportedly attempting to curtail any trial that will bring about more details to the public about the killing.
Cengiz expressed hope that the change in Saudi-Turkish relations would help bring about details of Khashoggi's brutal killing.
"As his close one, I have the right to ask this question: I've been asking since day one. Where is his body?" Cengiz asked.
She insisted that Turkey should continue to ask for information that will help the lawsuit move forward.
"I did not raise my voice just because state-to-state relations have deteriorated so that I will not stop speaking up when countries return to normal relations again because what I do is a struggle for rights, a search for justice."
She expressed hope that justice will be served, despite feeling that such a brutal murder is moving toward a lack of conclusion.
Saudi Arabia whitewashes its human rights abuses with entertainment: HRW
A report by the Human Rights Watch contends that Saudi Arabia is funneling billions of dollars into entertainment and events aimed at whitewashing its slate of human rights abuses, from torture reports to murdering journalists, to executing dissidents.
Most recently, the Kingdom has been using the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and its corresponding entertainment performances by renowned artists like Justin Bieber and A$AP Rocky to polish its image in the international arena, diverting its controversial reputation to a more moderate one, as planned by Mohammed bin Salman himself.
Previously, rapper Nicki Minaj model Emily Ratajkowski, and WWE star John Cena have taken a stance and rejected participating in events in Saudi Arabia.