The fiancée of journalist Jamal Khashoggi said yesterday that the political legitimacy Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is receiving as a result of his tour of the Middle East and Turkiye does not change the fact that he is a “murderer”, Reuters reported.
A US intelligence report released last year said Bin Salman, commonly known as MBS, approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi in October 2018. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report’s findings.
The prince began his regional tour on Tuesday by visiting Egypt and met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara yesterday.
It is Prince Mohammed’s first tour outside the Gulf since the 2018 murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, said on Twitter: “His visit to our country doesn’t change the fact that he is responsible for a murder. The political legitimacy he earns through the visits he makes to a different country every day doesn’t change the fact that he is a murderer.”
READ: Turkish judge relocated after opposing Khashoggi case transfer to Saudi Arabia
“Jamal is not my story anymore, this struggle for justice is not only my struggle. It is the struggle of every free and thinking person. No diplomatic relation can legitimise this unfairness and injustice.”
Ties between Ankara and Riyadh took a turn for the worse after a Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi in Istanbul. Erdogan at the time blamed it on the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.
But a Turkish court ruled to transfer the Turkish case over the killing to Saudi Arabia. Turkey denies that the decision was political.
Weeks after the case was transferred, Erdogan held one-on-one talks with the prince in Saudi Arabia.
In 2020, Saudi Arabia jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for Khashoggi’s murder. None of those convicted were named.