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Khashoggi fiancee snubs Trump White House invitation

Hatice Cengiz says called for honest investigations to bring Khashoggi's killers to justice [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 October, 2018

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Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee has said she will not visit the White House until sincere investigations are carried out to bring the slain journalist's killers to justice.

The fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has said she turned down an invitation to the White House by US President Donald Trump because she believed it was aimed at influencing public opinion in his favour.

Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish national, told
Turkish television channel HaberTurk on Friday that she would not visit the president until sincere efforts to find her fiancee's killers are underway.

"I demand that all those involved in this savagery from the highest to the lowest levels are punished and brought to justice," Cengiz said.

She added that Saudi officials have not reached out to her with a condolence call since Khashoggi was killed at the consulate on October 2.

"I found myself in a darkness I cannot express," she said.

Cengiz accompanied Khashoggi to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the day of his disappearance, however had waited outside the diplomatic building. When Khashoggi failed to reemerge from the onsulate, Cengiz raised the alarm about fears for her fiancee's safety.

Prior to Saudi Arabia's admission on Saturday that Khashoggi was killed, Cengiz says she had asked US Secretary of State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called her about the case, whether he had any news that would make her happy.

"But he said he didn't," she says.

On Thursday, Riyadh changed its narrative on what occurred at the Istanbul consulate on the day of Khashoggi's disappearance, conceding that the killing was premeditated. The latest change of story by Riyadh is seen as an attempt to try to ease international outrage over the slaying of a prominent critic of Prince Mohammed.

The announcement contradicted an earlier Saudi assertion that rogue officials from the kingdom had killed Khashoggi by mistake in a brawl inside their Istanbul consulate. That assertion, in turn, backtracked from an initial statement that Saudi authorities knew nothing about what happened to the Washington Post columnist.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Saudi officials involved in the murder disclose the location of Khashoggi's body, which has still not been found.

"It is clear that he has been killed but where is it? You have to show the body," Erdogan said on Friday during an address to Turkey’s ruling party leaders.

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