Turkey to search Saudi consulate in missing journalist case

Jermaine Castillo
October 15, 2018

Britain's main opposition Labour Party would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia if it was in government, its foreign policy spokeswoman said on Sunday after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations", the statement said.

The case of Jamal Khashoggi has gripped the world's attention over the past few days since his disappearance on October 2.

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage.

Saudi Arabia calls the allegation "baseless", but has yet to explain how the writer simply vanished while visiting the consulate as his fiancee stood outside waiting for him.

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Already, worldwide business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert".

"We would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia in current circumstances until they changed their ways.We would be making it clear that we disagreed", she said. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia warned that if it "receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

"Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the kingdom, we will be next in line", al-Habtoor said. Hunt later said that if Saudi Arabia were proven to be guilty, "we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation".

The Washington Post, citing unidentified USA and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told US officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. "Investors do not feel solid in Saudi yet, so it's easy for them to take back their funds". Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co.

Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt has called on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

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"The King has ordered the Public Prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the info from the joint team in Istanbul", a Saudi official, not authorised to speak publicly, told Reuters.

King Salman and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening and stressed the importance of the two countries creating the joint group as part of the probe.

A report published recently by a University of Toronto lab concluded that Saudi authorities were "very likely" responsible for hacking his phone with powerful spyware sold only to governments.

The Saudi stock exchange, only months earlier viewed as a darling of frontier investors, plunged as much as 7 percent at one point Sunday before closing down over 4 percent.

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