International Relations

Saudi critic’s ‘mysterious disappearance’: Trump says ‘have to find out what happened first’

image courtesy: the washington post

U.S President Donald Trump backed the Middle Eastern monarchial regime’s stance amid increasing global condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh over the mystery surrounding the missing Saudi critic, Jamal Khashoggi, who entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry and was not seen since, Al-Jazeera reported.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault levelled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

Meanwhile, four suspects identified by Turkey in Khashoggi’s disappearance are tied to Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, as per a report by The New York Times.

One is a frequent companion of the powerful crown prince and the three others are linked to his security detail, the report said.

Turkish government sources quoted by AJ have said police believe the journalist was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi operatives sent to Istanbul especially for the assassination. Riyadh insists Khashoggi left the consulate safely.

The Times said it confirmed at least nine of the 15 worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries.

The newspaper said it gathered more information about the suspects through facial recognition software, a database of Saudi mobile phone numbers, leaked Saudi government documents, witnesses and media.

One suspect, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, was a diplomat assigned to the Saudi embassy in London in 2007, it said, citing a British diplomatic roster.

Mutreb has been photographed emerging from planes with Prince Mohammed on recent trips to Madrid and Paris, the newspaper reported.

He was also photographed standing guard during the crown prince’s visits in the United States to Houston, Boston and the United Nations.

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