Hatice Cengiz appears at Jamal Khashoggi’s murder trial in Turkey
TURKEY The fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi has told a Turkish court the Washington Post columnist was lured to his death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul through “a great betrayal and deception”, and has asked that all people responsible for his killing be brought to justice.
Hatice Cengiz spoke at the opening of the trial on Friday in absentia of two former aides of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and 18 other Saudi nationals who were charged in Turkey for Khashoggi’s grisly slaying. The journalist’s 2018 killing at the consulate sparked international condemnation and cast a cloud of suspicion over the crown prince. The 20 Saudi defendants all left Turkey, and Saudi Arabia rejected Turkish demands for their extradition. Some of the men were put on trial in Riyadh behind closed doors. The proceedings were widely criticised as a whitewash. Khashoggi’s family members later announced they had forgiven his killers. The trial in Turkey is being closely watched for possible new information or evidence from the killing, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s remains.
Khashoggi, who was a US resident, had walked into his country’s consulate on October 2, 2018, for an appointment to collect documents that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancee. He never walked out. Cengiz, who took the stand to testify, spoke of the day she had her future taken away, Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported. “He was called to that consulate with great betrayal and deception”, the private DHA news agency quoted Cengiz as telling the court during her testimony.