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Khashoggi’s fiancee demands Saudis to return his remains

The fiancee of murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi has demanded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reveal the whereabouts of his body.

Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, during an interview in London on Monday. – Reuters
Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, during an interview in London on Monday. – Reuters

In an emotional plea, Hatice Cengiz told an audience in London: “I believe that the Saudi regime knows where his body is: they should answer my demand, for this is not only the demand of a fiancee but a human and Islamic demand.”

In a moving tribute to Khashoggi – who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 – Cengiz called on the international community to ensure there is no cover-up of his murder.

Speaking for the first time outside Turkey, she said: “I want justice to be served – not only for those who murdered my beloved Jamal but for those who organised it and gave the order for it. These questions are not just my questions: they are being asked by millions.

“I want the role of the political leadership in this brutal killing to be brought to light.”

Speaker after speaker at the homage organised by Middle East Monitor and the Al Sharq Forum to commemorate the Washington Post columnist placed the blame for his death squarely on the shoulders of bin Salman.

Cengiz said her fiancee’s death had left a “void” in her life and had turned him into a “martyr” for the cause of democracy in Saudi Arabia. The writer was highly critical of the Saudi leadership and left his homeland for the United States last year after growing fearful for his safety.

A Turkish academic who became engaged to marry Khashoggi four months ago, Cengiz was waiting for her fiancee to re-emerge from the consulate where he was murdered by what she branded a “death squad”.

“If only I knew what would happen, I would have entered the consulate myself… If only I knew that there were bloodthirsty, evil people waiting inside the consulate for my Jamal, I would have done all I could to prevent him from entering.”

She also attacked US President Donald Trump who has limited his criticism of the Saudi leader, a close ally, and stressed the importance to the American economy of arms sales to the country.

“I am deeply grateful for the solidarity of people all over the world,” Cengiz said. “I am, however, disappointed in the actions of the leadership in many countries, particularly in the US.

“President Trump should help reveal the truth and ensure justice be served. He should not pave the way for a cover-up of my fiancee’s murder. Let’s not let money taint our conscience and compromise our values.” – Al Jazeera