Arab League welcomes Riyadh’s investigation into death of Saudi journalist

Some of Turkish forensic police officers leave after the investigation at the residence of the Saudi consul Mohammed al-Otaibi for investigation in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 18, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/SEDAT SUNA

Cairo, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- The Arab League on Sunday backed Saudi Arabia for investigating the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who Riyadh claimed lost his life during an altercation inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul,

Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the consulate to obtain documents he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who called Turkish police after waiting outside the mission for more than three hours for the Washington Post columnist to return.

The General Secretariat of the Arab League praised the decisions taken by Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz, to launch an investigation, highlighting the concern of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to show the truth and take legal actions against people involved.

Citing the Attorney General’s Office, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday that Khashoggi and the people who received him at the consulate got into an argument that turned violent, leading to the journalist’s death.

Prosecutors said that 18 people were being held in connection with the case and emphasized the “commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved.”

The Arab League reaffirmed its refusal to “politicize’ the death of the journalist, in reference to possible “economic sanctions or unilateral measures against the kingdom, which remains an important pillar of regional and international security and stability.”

Earlier on Sunday, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, strongly condemned the death of the Saudi journalist.

In a joint statement with German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, the chancellor said her country expects transparency from Saudi Arabia regarding the circumstances of the death and those responsible must be brought to account.

Turkey has claimed it is in possession of evidence that proves Khashoggi was murdered, decapitated and dismembered in the consulate building