Khashoggi case: US Defence Secretary calls for transparent investigations

Manama [Bahrain]: United States Defence Secretary James Mattis met Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and called for a transparent investigation into Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death while condemning the incident.

“We discussed it. You know the same thing we talked about, the need for transparency, full and complete investigation,” Mattis said while mentioning that the leaders had met at a conference in Bahrain on Saturday.

Speaking to traveling reporters, Mattis further said, “(There was) full agreement from foreign minister Jubeir, no reservations at all, he said we need to know what happened and it was very collaborative, in agreement,” according to Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb, who had confirmed Khashoggi’s death, is traveling to Turkey to hold talks with investigators working on the slain journalist’s case.
His visit comes as Turkey demands the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects who have been arrested by the kingdom in relation to the Khashoggi incident.

Riyadh’s Foreign Minister, whom Mattis had met on Saturday, had reiterated that the suspects would be tried in Saudi Arabia post investigations despite Turkey’s wish for extradition.

French President Emmanuel Macron had called for sanctions at a “European level” while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the Syria Summit in Istanbul on Saturday.

“For me, things are clear. Firstly, some of the facts have been established. We must fully investigate the nature of these facts, and who’s responsible,” the French President said while adding, “Sanctions must be taken on this basis and these sanctions must be coherent and complete, and be extremely concrete and proportional.”

Macron further said, “It will depend on the facts as they are established and the sanctions will be taken at a European level, as we usually do, so that there is true coordination,” according to Al Jazeera.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with Macron’s call for a joint European Union (EU) position on the matter while confirming that the export of German arms to Saudi Arabia will be halted till a proper explanation is given regarding Khashoggi’s death.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a clear investigation into the deceased journalist’s case, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the Saudi explanation behind Khashoggi’s killing and asked for the suspects to be tried in Turkey.

Further, Erdogan also stated that he’s shared details about the slain scribe’s case with Russia, France, and Germany during a summit held in Istanbul on Saturday.

Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist with The Washington Post, had gone missing on October 2 when he had walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents.

His Turkish fiancĂ©e Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting for Khashoggi outside the consulate, later raised an alarm after he failed to re-emerge from the consulate, leading to a chain of revelations that confirmed the senior journalist’s death.