Saudi king orders probe in Khashoggi case

Ivan Schwartz
October 15, 2018

The Saudi government on Sunday suggested retaliation if the US were to impose strict measures.

Branson also said that in the light of what has reportedly happened in Turkey with respect to the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi many businesses' ability to do business with the Saudis would be changed if the reports turned out to be true. "All affected passengers will have their tour costs refunded in full".

Saudi Arabia has warned that it would retaliate against any punishment with even greater measures.

Turkish officials now believe Khashoggi was most likely tortured and killed inside the consulate and then dismembered and his remains smuggled out of the building.

Britain, France and Germany also released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness" and calling for a "credible investigation". The journalist hasn't been seen since he entered the consulate attempting to get divorce records at the beginning of October.

A team of investigators entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Monday for what Turkish officials called a joint inspection of the building where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared almost two weeks ago.

On Monday, King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

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Trump's warning caused Saudi stocks to tumble by around 7 percent at one point in trading on Sunday, wiping out all of their gains for 2018.

Turkey has yet to publish any evidence of him being killed, though surveillance footage around the consulate shows a convoy of vehicles with diplomatic plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul's home in Istanbul a little under two hours after Mr Khashoggi's arrival.

Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khaled disclosed that he had been asked over 30 times by the Saudi authorities to meet them in the Saudi embassy but he refused every time.

The withdrawal of Uber's Khosrowshahi from the event is particularly symbolic as the kingdom's vast Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested $3.5 billion in the ride-hailing app.

Anti-Saudi sentiment in the US Congress could conceivably raise pressure to pass the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, which would end sovereign immunity shielding OPEC members from US legal action. Prince Mohammed told Reuters past year that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile. While loosening the hold of the country's feared religious police and allowing women to drive, the powerful crown prince has also overseen a widespread crackdown on dissent. For decades, Saudi Arabia has used its sovereign oil fund as a massive vehicle for global investment - and some of that money landed in the United States, the Eurozone, and other places.

Other reports by GizPress

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