Bran­son halts talks as jour­nal­ist goes miss­ing

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

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.

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