A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Government expects a “meticulous investigation” into the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This is the first solid position the Government has taken on the incident after confirming with Newsbook.com.mt earlier this week that it is “following the case.”
On the 18th of October, the Government answered questions from Newsbook.com.mt about the case saying that “The Maltese Government is following developments in the case.” When prodded as to whether Malta plans on attending an internationally protected investment conference in Riyadh, the Government responded that, “As was the case last year, the Government has no plans to attend the conference.”
On Saturday 20th, the Ministry was contacted once again by this newsroom following the news that Saudi Arabia was suggesting Khashoggi died in a fist fight. The full answer from a Government spokesperson was: “The facts coming to light about this case are very disconcerting. We are awaiting a meticulous investigation in order to find out the truth, and for all those who are behind this killing to answer to their actions.”
What is the Khashoggi story so far?
Roughly two weeks ago, a well-known journalist and Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi vanished after entering the country’s consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents verifying his divorce from his ex-wife.
Saudi Arabia initially denied that the journalist never left the consulate, but they then admitted that he was dead. The Kingdom’s public prosecutor then suggested that a fist fight between Mr Khashoggi and some people in the consulate resulted in his death, however Turkish authorities painted a different picture.
Turkish officials are alleging that Mr Khashoggi was tortured and killed by a team of Saudi agents on premises, before his body was removed. Turkey claims to have video footage to prove their allegations, but this footage has not yet been made public.
Turkish media have identified 15 people they are referring to as Saudi agents who flew to Istanbul and back out on the same day as the journalist’s disappearance. Four of the men have connections with the Saudi Crown Prince, while another is a senior member of the country’s Interior Ministry.