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Saudi Consul in Istanbul: We are Working on Searching for Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi Consul in Istanbul: We are Working on Searching for Jamal Khashoggi

Sunday, 7 October, 2018 - 05:15
Consul-General of Saudi Arabia Mohammad al-Otaibi sits for an interview with Reuters at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Arabia’s consul-general in Istanbul dismissed on Saturday claims that Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi had been kidnapped, regretting statements made by some Turkish officials, who alleged he was inside the consulate.

“If those who say he was kidnapped are focusing on his being in the mission, these are just rumors that have no proof,” Mohammad al-Otaibi said. “And we unfortunately regret some of the statements that have been made by Turkish officials who insist that (Khashoggi is) in the consulate ... without it being built on facts.”

Otaibi opened up his six-storey consulate on Saturday to Reuters, adding: “We are worried about this case.”

Opening cupboards, filing cabinets and wooden panels covering air conditioning units, Otaibi walked through the six floors of the building including a basement prayer room, offices, visa counters, kitchens and toilets as well as storage and security rooms.

He said the consulate was equipped with cameras but they did not record footage, so no images could be retrieved of Khashoggi entering or leaving the consulate, which is ringed by police barriers and has high security fences topped with barbed wire.

The building has two entrances at the front and back, and Otaibi said Khashoggi could have left from either side.

“I would like to confirm that...Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,” he stressed.

The idea that Khashoggi may have been abducted at the consulate was “disgusting”, he said.

“The idea of kidnapping a Saudi citizen by a diplomatic mission is something that should not be put forward in the media.”

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