Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Saudi Hollywood deal hit by Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi Hollywood deal hit by Khashoggi disappearance

Khashoggi, a USA resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of Prince Mohammed, vanished after entering the consulate to get marriage documents.

Amidst global outrage, CNN on Monday reported that the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong.

One CNN source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, while another said it will likely conclude the operation took place without clearance, and that those involved will be held responsible.

Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear spoke with Mansour Al-Hadj, a Washington-based researcher who sits on the board of directors of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, who told them the Khashoggi case might not dissuade Western experts from going to work in Riyadh, but it could keep Saudi students overseas from returning to the country.

In other words: The Saudis' official defense is, reportedly, "We only wanted to torture and kidnap the dissident journalist, but the Crown Prince's friend got a little too enthusiastic, and accidentally killed him".

US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he was aware of the report but did not know if it was correct.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to meet Saudi King Salman amid growing controversy over the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Prince Mohammed told Reuters past year that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom.

The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East's most impoverished country.

Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate the day he disappeared, tweeted a Koranic verse warning those who kill on goal, with the hashtag "Jamal is the Martyr of the Word".

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to conduct a search but insisted it would only be a superficial "visual" inspection.

Riyadh denies the Saudi writer was murdered, his body dismembered and removed by a 15-man hit squad, which flew into Istanbul on the day he disappeared.

Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on Monday.

A string of high-profile finance executives followed technology and media leaders in pulling out of a Saudi investment conference scheduled for late this month, potentially risking a lucrative role in the kingdom's plans for a historic opening of its economy.

A joint Saudi-Turkish team arrived at the consulate on Monday in Istanbul's upscale 4th Levent neighbourhood, as journalists filmed and shot photographs of their arrival.

King Salman has replaced two crown princes in the past.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post and Politico reported that two lobbying groups - BGR and Glover Park - have said that they would no longer represent Saudi Arabia.

In commodities, tension between the United States, the world's top oil consumer, and Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest producers, pushed up crude prices on concerns about supply. Saudi officials have been in and out of the building since Khashoggi's disappearance on 2 October without being stopped.

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