Khashoggi Case Drags On
Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2. Khashoggi was a journalist for The Washington Post, a U.S. resident, and a critic of the Saudi royal family. He went to the consulate to retrieve proof of his past divorce so he could marry his fiancée. Initially, Saudi officials had denied any knowledge of what happened inside the consulate. Later, they retracted their statement, instead saying the journalist died in a fist fight. After weeks of pressure by Turkish prosecutors, they admitted that the murder was premeditated, and identified 18 suspects in the case.
The Turkish government, unhappy with the way the investigation has been proceeding, has insisted that the suspects face prosecution in Turkey, but Saudi Arabia demands that the case be dealt with on their own grounds.
Currently hindering the investigation is the unknown whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. “I want to bury the body of beloved Jamal. Therefore I am asking once again, where is his body? I believe that the Saudi regime knows where his body is. They should answer my demand,” said Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée. Despite pressures from Turkish officials, Saudi authorities have not yet forfeited any information pertaining to the location of the body.
The United States has hesitated to get involved in the issue, although they have condemned Saudi Arabia’s resistance to a full investigation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated it would be a “handful more weeks” before the U.S. could retaliate. Security interests, such as U.S. access to Saudi Arabia’s petroleum resources, could be at stake if the U.S. decides to further their investigation of Khashoggi’s death.