Great Britain

Why is Saudi Prince Bin Salman not being punished for my fiance Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder?

SAUDI Arabia’s Crown Prince stands accused of having blood on his hands over the audacious murder of rebel journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The dissident was slain in the Saudi consulate in Turkey more than two years ago — and dramatic new evidence suggests the oil-rich nation’s ruler Mohammed bin Salman watched the killing via video link.

Bin Salman, the Saudis’ Crown Prince, denies having anything to do with Jamal’s death but investigators suspect the victim was killed on camera so the murder could be overseen in his home country.

The evidence features in new documentary The Dissident, directed by Oscar winner Bryan Fogel.

US investigators, as well as the United Nations, believe Bin Salman backed the slaying of Jamal.

The Turkish authorities recorded all of the conversations inside the Saudi consulate where the journalist was killed in October 2018.

The documentary claims the murder had been planned in advance.


A team, including the Crown Prince’s security officer Maher Mutreb and forensics expert Salah Al-Tubaigy, had flown into Turkey on a private jet under diplomatic passes.

Al-Tubaigy can be heard on tape asking: “Has the sacrificial victim arrived?” as Jamal comes to the consulate.

Recep Kilic, from Istanbul’s forensic police, believes orders were being given from Saudi Arabia.

He reckons the journalist was taken to the conference room so his murder could be watched via a camera on the television.

Kilic says: “Someone may easily have watched everything that went on in that room, even given orders.”

In the documentary, which includes some reenactments, Turkey’s chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan recounts Jamal’s final moments.

Fidan says: “After he entered the consulate, within the first ten minutes his mouth is closed with someone’s hand.

"He starts to scream, ‘You’re going to kill me. I have asthma. Don’t do this,’ he repeats as more men subdue him.

“He doesn’t stand a chance. Wheezing. Grunting. Those are the only sounds he can make as he’s being killed.”

Describing the horrific moments after the murder, Fidan says: “They start to cut up the body. With a bone saw.”

Transcripts of the consulate tapes are said to reveal one of Bin Salman’s security team discussing how Jamal’s body should be dismembered.

The forensics expert says they must take his clothes off and cut him up so his body will fit in a bag.

Then a royal bodyguard insists the remains of the dissident should be taken back to Saudi capital Riyadh.

The chief prosecutor in Turkey says it is then that the saw is heard.

Someone may easily have watched everything that went on in that room, even given orders.

Recep Kilic

The documentary comes after the White House this week published a report stating that: “Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

And it emerged this week that at a dinner in Fiji, the Duchess of Sussex wore diamond earrings worth £500,000 that belonged to Bin Salman — three weeks after the killing and when he was linked to the crime.

Jamal’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz, who waited for her husband-to-be outside the embassy unaware he would never return, has called for Bin Salman to be punished.

She said: “It is essential that the Crown Prince, who ordered the brutal murder of a blameless and innocent person, should be punished.”

Her call for justice was echoed by UN legal expert Agnes Callamard, who said: “When you look at it from a human rights standpoint, everything suggests the Crown Prince should be investigated.”

She thinks the fact that eight of the 15-man hit squad arrived in Turkey on a private jet with diplomatic clearance makes it the “definition of a state operation”.

For a long time Jamal was a Saudi insider, a well-placed journalist who praised the country’s monarch.

He was the nephew of notorious arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and interviewed al-Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden several times prior to the evil 9/11 mastermind’s death.

But following the Arab Spring a decade ago, which saw dictators toppled, Jamal backed democratic reforms in his homeland.

In his columns for the Washington Post he became an outspoken critic of Bin Salman, who has become increasingly despotic since Saudi Arabia’s elderly king handed over most powers to him three years ago.

The Crown Prince has been locking up and torturing opponents, including female activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who was kidnapped, beaten and waterboarded for campaigning for the right of women to drive in the authoritarian state.

When Jamal got wind of a plot to silence him he moved to the United States permanently in 2017.

His wife divorced him under pressure from the regime and Jamal was unable to visit his children.

He dared not return to his home country and was nervous about going to the embassy in Turkey in October 2018. But he needed documentation in order to marry his fiancée.

Hatice said: “It never crossed my mind that they could kill someone in the Saudi consulate.”

The efforts of the squad to cover up the crime failed.

After Jamal did not emerge from the building, the Saudi authorities claimed he had left alive. In a bizarre attempt to avoid detection, one Saudi dressed in Jamal’s clothes, with a fake beard, and walked outside to a public toilet.

There he dumped Jamal’s clothes in a bin and took off the beard. All of this was captured on CCTV.

Fearing the smell of Jamal’s corpse would be detected by the Turkish police, his body was transferred from the consulate to another Saudi building in Istanbul.

It never crossed my mind that they could kill someone in the Saudi consulate.

Hatice Cengiz

The whereabouts of the remains of his body are unknown.

Saudi authorities kept changing their story about what had happened to Jamal before eventually admitting their men were behind the crime.

Five of the 12-man hit squad have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, while another received ten years and two got seven.

The Saudi court did not release the names of the convicted men. So far the only fallout from the case has been an economic impact.

In the wake of the murder several major companies pulled out of a summit in Saudi Arabia. They included the Crown Prince’s former friend, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The prince is alleged to have taken revenge on the world’s richest businessman by implanting a bug in his smartphone which was able to capture embarrassing images.

Bezos accused the National Enquirer magazine of attempted “blackmail” by threatening to publish a “below-the-belt selfie” of him.

But he never directly implicated the Crown Prince in the alleged hacking and the Saudi authorities denied being involved.

While the CIA and UN report links the Crown Prince to Jamal’s murder, they have not stated definitively that he ordered the execution.

And the Saudi ambassador to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, claimed the report “does not rise to anywhere close to proving the accusation beyond reasonable doubt”.

Other Saudis linked to the crime have been sanctioned, but the country’s leader has not.

The Dissident’s director, Bryan Fogel, thinks action needs to be taken against this very powerful man.

He said: “The CIA report shows an open and shut case. But the UN has done nothing. The US and Europe have done nothing.”

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman denies ordering Khashoggi killing

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