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article imageOp-Ed: Some questions for the Saudis

By Ken Hanly     Oct 19, 2018 in Politics
Ever since Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul about two weeks ago, the Saudis have claimed that he left and that they had no knowledge of his whereabouts.
Denial of knowledge about Khashoggi was an outright lie
This they now admit was a lie. Their story now is according to state media:"The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death," the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor. " One version of the death has him dying in a chokehold. I suppose the fist fight itself sounded a bit unconvincing.
The first question I would ask is why the Saudis lied from beginning as they obviously knew that Kashoggi was dead? Why did they not notify authorities?
Where is the body?
The Saudis should have reported the death but obviously did not. What did they do with the body? Will they now show the Turkish authorities where the body is? If they do then the authorities can exhume it and have an autopsy. This will certainly show if the Turkish tapes were correct. Will Turkish authorities demand that this happen? They should and the international community should demand it.
Why was a forensic expert there?
Why was one of the 15 Saudis who went to the Turkish consulate the day that Khashoggi killed a forensic expert? The Washington Post notes: "One of the 15 Saudis named by Turkish officials as being involved in the disappearance of a journalist last seen entering a diplomatic consulate in Istanbul is a forensic expert known for pioneering rapid and mobile autopsies, according to Arab media reports and his own academic writings. Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy flew into Istanbul shortly after Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate and flew out nine hours later, Turkish officials say. " It seems that they expected that they would deal with a body not a fist fight There is no explanation of this.
Did the Turks show the Saudis audio and video tapes?
CNN reports: "Sources tell CNN that the Turkish intelligence agency MIT decided to review an audio-visual feed from inside the consulate -- a feed whose existence Turkey has not publicly acknowledged. Grisly details from the alleged feed suggest that Khashoggi was tortured then killed soon after entering the consulate, according to Turkish media. Turkish officials have told CNN that his body was dismembered."
The Saudis had a joint investigation with the Turks. Did the Turks not show the Saudis their evidence? If they did what was the Saudi's response? If they did not why not? If the Saudi narrative is accepted will the tapes show that it is false or will they disappear like Kashoggi?
Saudis say they are continuing pursuit of justice
Al Arabiya notes: "An official in Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the orders and decisions taken by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, following the announcement of the tragic death of Jamal Khashoggi, are a continuation of the kingdom’s approach to establishing justice, according to the Saudi Press Agency. The official source said that the kingdom’s approach is establishing justice, holding accountable whoever is responsible, and dealing with any mistakes made, especially by Saudi nationals."
Notice the wording "tragic death" as if he died in a car accident. Even according to their own story a Saudi killed him with a chokehold. Saudi justice up to now has consisted of lying to everyone by not acknowledging they knew Khashoggi was dead. Now there are a whole group of Saudis being held responsible but not the crown prince. We are now supposed to believe that he knew nothing about the incident. Why should we believe the Saudi official story? Wouldn't he have ordered what was to be done? How can he not share the blame? The appearance is that many of those involved must pay dearly in order to show that the Saudis are just. Some of the crown prince's closest associates have been thrown under the bus as indicated in the appended video.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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