The son of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia on Thursday, according to CNN, after having originally been prevented from leaving the country by a travel ban. Salah bin Jamal Khashoggi, a dual US-Saudi citizen, had his passport restricted by the kingdom earlier in the year.
Salah is the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by a Saudi hit squad after entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Earlier in the day the Saudis effectively admitted the murder was planned when in the latest twist in the narrative, they admitted the killing was a “premeditated act.”
As we reported on Tuesday, Salah Khashoggi was pictured shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the man widely believed to have organized the killing of his father, during a visit between the Khashoggi family and the Saudi royal family, including King Salman.
According to SPA, the king and crown prince “offered their deepest condolences” to the family of the assassinated journalist, while Sahl and Salah Khashoggi “expressed their utmost thanks” to the royal family for their condolences.
However, as Middle East Eye notes, a Saudi human rights activist and close friend of the late Khashoggi, Yahya Assiri, told Middle East Eye the visit was “a serious assault on the family” of the murdered journalist, particularly as authorities continued to bar them from traveling.
“Jamal told me that his wife was forced to divorce him after she was banned indefinitely from travel,” Assiri said. He said Khashoggi had also told him that Saudi authorities barred his entire family from travel in an attempt to pressure him to return.
“In addition to admitting responsibility for the crime, Saudi authorities must immediately allow the Khashoggi family to travel, if they are genuinely keen on uncovering the truth,” he said. Assiri said the visit most likely took place under pressure on the family to “cover up the crime.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “There are still questions that need answers” over the premeditated murder, demanding the Saudis explain why the 18 were arrested. “Who gave them the orders?” he asked, pointing out that Khashoggi’s body had still not been found.
“Where is (the body)? You admit they did it, but why are they not saying (where)?” Cavusoglu told a press conference in Ankara with Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki. “His family also wants to know and pay their final tribute.” The Turkish minister repeated Erdogan’s demand that those involved in the murder should be legally tried in Turkey, adding that Ankara was willing to cooperate with everyone.
On Tuesday, CIA Director Gina Haspel visited Ankara for talks, with pro-government Turkish media claiming on Wednesday intelligence officials shared evidence with her. The officials provided Haspel with video images and audio tapes as well as evidence gathered from the consulate and the consul’s residence during a briefing at the Turkish Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Sabah newspaper reported.
Asked to confirm whether this was true, Cavusoglu said he could not provide an exact answer but Turkey would “share documents and evidence in our hands with countries and institutions which wanted it.”