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Khashoggi fiancée snubs Trump invitation to White House

Hatice CengizImage copyright
EPA

The fiancée of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi says she has declined an invitation to the White House by US President Donald Trump because he is not sincere about investigating the killing.

Hatice Cengiz told Turkish TV she thought the invitation was aimed at influencing public opinion in the US.

Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago.

Riyadh denies the ruling royal family was involved and blames “rogue agents”.

Saudi Arabia initially denied all knowledge of the journalist’s fate.

In a New York Times column earlier this month, Ms Cengiz said that if Mr Trump makes “a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation”.

  • The Jamal Khashoggi story so far
  • The journalist who vanished into a consulate

Mr Trump has said he is “not satisfied” with the Saudi account, but while he has floated the possibility of imposing sanctions he has also stressed the importance of the two countries’ ties.

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance and death

The president also said it was “possible” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not know about the killing.

Khashoggi had been an outspoken critic of the crown prince, the country’s de facto ruler.

Body still not found

In a tearful television interview on Friday, Ms Cengiz recounted the day her fiancé vanished, saying she would never have let her partner enter the consulate if she had thought that “Saudi Arabia authorities would hatch a plot” to kill him.

“I demand that all those involved in this savagery from the highest to the lowest levels are punished and brought to justice,” she told Haberturk TV.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Jamal Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the Saudi royals

The journalist’s body has still not been found, and Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is now saying that Khashoggi’s murder was “premeditated”.

The US-based writer’s eldest son arrived in the US from Saudi Arabia on Thursday, along with his family. The Saudi-US citizen had been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia because of his father’s criticism of the country’s leadership, but this sanction was recently lifted.

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