Sean Penn mak­ing doc­u­men­tary on Khashoggi mur­der

The Herald (South Africa) - - News -

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.”

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