Sean Penn making documentary on Khashoggi murder
American actor Sean Penn was in Istanbul on Wednesday to film a documentary about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate.
Khashoggi, 59, a US resident since 2017, was killed when he went to the consulate to obtain marriage-related papers on October 2. In one image, two-time Oscar winner Penn, 58, was seen outside the mission where the Washington Post contributor was strangled before he was cut up into pieces by a 15man Saudi team especially sent to Istanbul for the task.
Penn was also seen outside the consul-general’s residence.
A newspaper reported that the actor also wanted to meet Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz.
Since Khashoggi was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, there has been speculation the de facto leader ordered the hit.
Penn has previously attracted controversy as a result of his foray into politics and current affairs, and especially after he and Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo interviewed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman while he was on the run.
Istanbul’s chief prosecutor has filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide to Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and the deputy head of its foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
Two Turkish officials said the prosecutor’s office had concluded there was a strong suspicion that Saud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri, both removed from their positions in October, were among the planners of Khashoggi’s killing on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The move comes a day after senior US senators said they were more certain than ever that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the killing, citing a CIA briefing.
The UN human rights chief on Wednesday called for an international investigation.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has pushed to keep international attention on the murder – the order for which he says came from the highest levels of the Saudi government – even as US President Donald Trump has said Washington should not take action that would undermine its relationship with the kingdom.
“The prosecution’s move to issue arrest warrants reflects the view that the Saudi authorities won’t take formal action against those individuals,” one of the Turkish officials said.
“By extraditing all suspects to Turkey, the Saudi authorities could address those concerns.”