Jamal Khashoggi

Dr. Talal Al Harbi "Riyadh Daily"
Where's Khashoggi?

The whereabouts of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashogi, are still unknown since his disappearance last week.

The well-known journalist disappeared after entering the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to obtain some routine documents relating to his marriage from a Turkish woman.

Saudi diplomats said that Khashoggi left the  consulate after obtaining the required documents, but his fiancée told the Turkish authorities that he was missing.

There were statements and counter statements by the Saudi and Turkish sides. Unauthentic reports said that the columnist, author, and former editor-in-chief of the Saudi al-Watan newspaper, was either killed or kidnapped. 

They accused Saudi Arabia of luring him to the consulate and killing or kidnapping him. 

However, they didn't provide any evidence to substantiate their claims.

In fact there is an ongoing orchestrated campaign to discredit the Kingdom in general and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in particular.

I would like to emphasize that killing or silencing any journalist doesn't serve any noble purpose because this is an endless vicious circle. Many journalists and politicians were killed all over the world but this did not stop opposition and free expression. 

Our leadership knows this fact, so why should they commit this heinous crime which they categorically deny?

I have the honor to have known Mr. khasshoggi and worked with him closely in London and elsewhere. He was an ace journalist and true Saudi patriot. He was dedicated to serve his country diligently.

Accusers claim that he was killed or kidnapped because he was opposed to the policies of the Crown Prince. 

In fact this is mere lunacy and stupidity because the man never claimed that he was in the opposition. It is true that he was critical of some policies, but he never missed an opportunity to stress that he was loyal to his country and to the Crown Prince.

In the day before his disappearance, Khashoggi criticized President Donald Tramp when he stated that King Salman would not last for two weeks without US protection. 

Khashoggi said to Tramp: "You are mistaken to believe that you are the one who protects the Kingdom because it can protect itself by its self capabilities and its Islamic extension".

Had he been in the opposition he would not have criticized the president of a country where he lives in.

The Crown Prince himself is also open to criticism. Answering a question from Bloomberg team in a recent interview he said" Well, you know, you have to accept that any friend will say good things and bad things. So you cannot have 100 percent friends saying good things about you, even in your family." 

So if he accepts criticism from outsiders, he is also ready to hear criticism from his citizens. Khashoggi was one of them. So why to ever think that he would want him to be silenced as long as we all work for the good of the country?

So why kill Khashoggi or kidnap him?

It is unthinkable that he has a hand in the disappearance of this journalist because he is a Saudi citizens and he has no enmity with him. 

He stressed this fact in the said interview ": We hear the rumors about what happened. He’s a Saudi citizen and we are very keen to know what happened to him. And we will continue our dialogue with the Turkish government to see what happened to Jamal there".

And since he has nothing to hide, said:" We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises. The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them. We have nothing to hide".

This actually has happened when the Saudi government allowed Turkish investigators to search its consulate in Istanbul to solve the mystery.

Given these facts, it is not in the interest of the Kingdom to commit this malicious act. 

If this is the case, the Turkish authorities should look for the real culprits and we would be happy to see them behind bars.

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