Branson halts talks as journalist goes missing
BRITISH billionaire Richard Branson says his Virgin Group will suspend discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a planned $US1 billion ($1.4 billion) investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government,” Mr Branson said in a statement.
Mr Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since October 2 when Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies and a Washington Post journalist, went missing.