Saudi king embarks on rare tour as Khashoggi crisis rages overseas

Arturo Kim
November 7, 2018

A Saudi team including a chemist and a toxicologist was sent to Istanbul to spoil evidence nine days after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Turkish media report said November 5.

According to a report published by Turkey's pro-government Sabah newspaper on Tuesday, the staff tried to rip out the camera inside the diplomatic mission in Istanbul on October 2, the day Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.

Khashoggi's sons made a public appeal for the return of their father's remains during a CNN interview on Sunday.

"All that we want now is to bury him in Medina with the rest of his family", Salah, 33, said.

The 82-year-old monarch arrived in the central province of Qassim, an official close to his entourage told AFP, as he started what Saudi media said was a tour of "several regions" in the kingdom.

However, as diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national, in an unexpected statement last month, Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in a "premeditated" attack in the consulate.

Turkish and Saudi officials have carried out joint inspections of the consulate and consul's residence in Istanbul, but President Tayyip Erdogan says some Saudi officials are still trying to cover up the crime.

It is alleged that the powerful heir to the throne must have at a minimum been aware of the plan to kill Khashoggi, who had become increasingly critical of the Saudi royal family since moving to the U.S. in self-imposed exile in 2017.

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The Saudi reactor project launched on November 5 was among seven projects officially started by the crown prince during a visit to Riyadh's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Both Turkish and Saudi officials are investigating the killing.

"Jamal was never a dissident", Salah Khashoggi said.

At Fortune's Most Powerful Women International Summit in Montreal, Canada on Monday, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson fielded questions about how she was weighing Lockheed's weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi's death.

Initially they said he had left the consulate alive, then that he had died in a fist-fight, before officials began to describe his death as "murder" and pre-meditated as a result of a "rogue operation". The group paid over $100 billion in settlements for what Saudi authorities said were corruption charges.

More than 40 member states, including the USA, called on Saudi Arabia to carry out a thorough and transparent investigation, with many also calling for reform to the Kingdom's freedom of expression laws.

Saudi Arabia has acknowledged that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents but insisted that the suspects, who it says are in custody in the kingdom, were not acting on the government's authority.

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