Khashoggi fiancée demands justice at murder site

A vigil has been held in Istanbul for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered there one year ago today.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia’s government, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish city by a team of Saudi agents.

His fiancée Hatice Cengiz told the vigil she was still seeking justice.

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman denied being involved in the killing, but a United Nations (UN) expert has called for the royal to be investigated.

In a report released in June, the expert described the killing as a “premeditated extrajudicial execution”.

On Sunday, Mohammed bin Salman maintained that he did not personally order Khashoggi to be killed, but said he took full responsibility as a Saudi leader.

Saudi prosecutors have put on trial 11 people who they say were involved in the “rogue operation” that led to Khashoggi’s death. They are seeking the death penalty for five of them.

But Human Rights Watch says the trial does not meet international standards and that Saudi authorities have “obstructed meaningful accountability”.

The event took place near the Saudi consulate, which the 59-year-old US-based columnist for the Washington Post entered on October 2, 2018 to obtain papers he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée, Ms Cengiz. She waited outside the building for him, but he never emerged.

“I still seek justice,” Ms Cengiz said in a speech at the vigil. “I want to know what happened to his body. I want his friends to be released from jail. I want that those in power are held accountable for their actions.”

Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos told her: “No-one should ever have to endure what you did. Right here, where you are, you paced that street for hours, pacing and waiting. And he never came out.

“It is unimaginable and you need to know that you are in our hearts. We are here and you are not alone.”

After listening to purported audio recordings of conversations inside the Saudi consulate made by Turkish intelligence on the day of the killing, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, concluded that Khashoggi was “brutally slain”. -BBC

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