Jamal Khashoggi's family denies issuing statement calling for inquiry, rejects attempts to use its name to attack Saudi Arabia

The family of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rejected all attempts to use its name to target Saudi Arabia, according to reports. Sultan Khashoggi, speaking on behalf of the Khashoggi family, also rejected a statement being attributed to them earlier, which calls for an "independent and impartial international commission to inquire" Khashoggi's case.

"The men and women of the Khashoggi family are all loyal to the country and utterly refuse to use or exploit the name of the family in an agenda seeking to harm Saudi Arabia," Khashoggi's son Sultan tweeted, according to Gulf News.

 Jamal Khashoggis family denies issuing statement calling for inquiry, rejects attempts to use its name to attack Saudi Arabia

File image of Jamal Khashoggi. AFP

The tweet, according to the report, was posted in denial to a statement that is being attributed to the Khashoggi family. According to The Washington Post, the family's statement had read, "We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago, when he disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul....Our family is traumatised, and yearns to be together during this painful time. The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death. We are grateful to all those who have respected our privacy during these difficult times."

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in the United States, vanished on 2 October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside.

Turkish Police say he was murdered inside the consulate by a 15-member Saudi team that flew into the country just ahead of Khashoggi's scheduled appointment, and left the same day, according to Turkish government sources.

Saudi Arabia insists Khashoggi exited the consulate after a brief visit.

Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of Khashoggi, told Al-Arabiya English that the disappearance of his father should not be politicised by "foreign parties". He also confirmed that all members of his family support the official Saudi investigations, which only "will lead us to positive results and uncover the truth."

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has promised that no one will be exempt from inquiry into Khashoggi's disappearance and has ensured a thorough probe. After his visit to Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "My assessment from these meetings is that there is serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials."

The crown prince "pledged that the work of the Saudi public prosecutor will produce a full and complete conclusion with full transparency for the world to see," Pompeo added.

International pressure has also been mounting on Riyadh with United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet calling for the lifting of the immunity of officials who might be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance. The foreign ministers from the G7 have also called for a "transparent" probe.

Britain, France and Germany had also called on the Saudi and Turkish authorities to mount a "credible investigation" into the disappearance of Khashoggi, saying they were treating the incident with "utmost seriousness".

Turkey searches Saudi consulate again

Turkey searched the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a second time overnight as part of a probe into the disappearance of Khashoggi, while the French and Dutch finance ministers pulled out of a Riyadh investment summit amid global criticism of the kingdom.

Turkey’s pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper published on Wednesday what it said were details from audio recordings that purported to document Khashoggi’s torture and interrogation.

The newspaper said Khashoggi’s torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him. A New York Times report cited a senior Turkish official confirming those details.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 18, 2018 20:10:08 IST