FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Jamal Khashoggi, general manager of a new Arabic news channel, speaks during a news conference in Manama, Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is paying influential lobbyists, lawyers and public relations experts nearly $6 million a year to engage U.S. officials and promote the Middle East nation, even after several firms cut ties with the kingdom following the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

Q&A: One year on, Khashoggi’s fiancee still seeking answers

Jamal Khashoggi’s body was never found after he was killed inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul

Nearly a year ago, a team of 15 Saudi government agents was sent to Istanbul, where it killed Saudi columnist and critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate. Khashoggi’s body was never found.

The Oct. 2 killing and attempts to cover it up drew international condemnation, and the reputation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has never fully recovered. Saudi Arabia insists the powerful heir had no involvement in an operation that included agents who reported directly to him.

Saudi Arabia’s trial of some of those agents has been held in secret. As of yet, no one has been convicted.

Khashoggi had entered the consulate to collect a document that would let him wed his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting for him outside. He never returned.

On Thursday, The Associated Press talked with Cengiz on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Below are excerpts of the interview. Cengiz spoke through a Turkish translator, and the interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Nearly one year later, your fiance’s body has not been found and no one has been convicted. What are your thoughts today?

My purpose is to concentrate on what else could be done to enable justice for Jamal. And that’s why I keep attending various events to make Jamal’s voice heard. And, of course, nothing will bring Jamal back. For this reason, my aim is to also give a voice to thousands of prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Do you believe the crown prince ordered this or was directly involved? If so, do you think the world has held him accountable?

When we look at the actions of Saudi Arabia and the debates taking place at the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the independent report that was issued by the independent rapporteur of the United Nations, it shows us that this murder was not limited to the perpetrators. It was committed on a diplomatic compound, and these individuals made use of diplomatic opportunities in order to go to Turkey to commit this crime.

What do you want the crown prince to say that he hasn’t already said?

What I’m expecting the crown prince to tell me is: Why was Jamal killed? Where is his body? What was the motive for this murder? What we witnessed was a horrible murder, actually. So I don’t want him to depict everything like a homicide case on a TV series. I’m curious about the answer to these questions.

Can you discuss how the killing has been politicized by saudi arabia and turkey?

Turkey did its best to make use of diplomatic channels. And I honestly believe that Turkey did not politicize Jamal’s case. Turkey did its best to respect diplomatic rules and to conduct the investigation according to international standards, vis-a-vis international organizations. And as you do know, Jamal’s murder took place in a diplomatic compound and Turkey had to respect this international convention on diplomatic compounds.

As for Saudi Arabia, you mentioned Turkey’s involvement or support of Muslim groups and the Muslim Brotherhood being used as a pretext by Saudi Arabia. I believe that such a stance is an understandable reaction on the Saudi side because a team coming from Saudi Arabia committed murder in Turkey. So, of course, for psychological reasons, without that they will try to put the blame on Turkey or they will try to abuse, you know, Turkey in this larger picture. So it’s quite understandable.

Anything else you’d like to say?

After a year, I can say that the entire world is mobilized for Jamal. During the last month, I gave more than 30 interviews and wrote many columns for international media. During the coming year, what I want to see is concrete reaction. Rather than discussing these questions and answers, I’d like to see and discuss the concrete actions to be taken by international stakeholders.

Aya Batrawy And Robert Bumsted, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

City to request conservation officer

Predatory wildlife appear to be bolder

City auditors reports are in

“We are now playing catch-up on all major assets,” CFO said

Tourism Prince Rupert to benefit from grant funding

Redirect dollars for recovery and travel inside B.C.

Local MP Taylor Bachrach salutes 10 days sick leave

In exchange NDP will support virtual parliament

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Asian giant “murder hornets” found in Langley, expanding range

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Northern Women’s Recovery House Society calls for public engagement

Society aims to plans to bring the first women’s recovery house to northern B.C.

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read