In a column Friday for The Washington Post, the fiancée of slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi slammed the Trump administration, calling it “devoid of moral foundation” in its position on her late fiancé’s case.
Hatice Cengiz called on the international community to bring the perpetrators of Khashoggi’s murder to justice and to find his missing body. Istanbul’s chief prosecutor reported that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered soon after entering the diplomatic compound. Her fiancé, who wrote for the Post as a columnist, was critical of the Saudi regime.
“Some have approached this through the cynical prism of self-interest – statements framed by fear and cowardice; by the fear of upsetting deals or economic ties,” Cengiz wrote. “Some in Washington are hoping this matter will be forgotten with simple delaying tactics.”
“But we will continue to push the Trump administration to help find justice for Jamal,” she added. “There will be no coverup.”
Cengiz’s article comes exactly one month after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate to handle routine paperwork needed for the couple to get married. Cengiz, a Turkish national, waited for her fiancé outside the compound. He never returned.
“Jamal had just bought a house,” Cengiz wrote Friday. “He had a dream of building a family.”
“At the consulate, I was left at the door alone,” she said. “I am the one story Jamal did not complete.”
The whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body and remains are unknown.Turkish government officials have demanded the Saudis tell authorities the location of Khashoggi’s body and who ordered the murder.
Earlier this week, at a memorial service for Khashoggi in London, Cengiz said she was disappointed in Trump and challenged him to “not let money taint our conscience and compromise our values.”
Cengiz, who last week declined Trump’s invitation to the White House, directed her remarks at some of Trump’s statements following the disappearance and murder of Khashoggi that appeared to downplay what happened to the Post columnist and Saudi regime critic living in self-imposed exile in the U.S.
Soon after Khashoggi went missing, Trump initially accepted the denials from the Saudi royal family of any involvement in Khashoggi’s death and said the U.S. would be punishing itself if it canceled a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. More recently, Trump described Saudi Arabia’s handling of the Khashoggi case as the “worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups.”
Khashoggi, who was once a Saudi insider, became a critic of the country’s de facto ruler and crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, known by his initials MBS. After being attacked by officials close to MBS, Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia in 2017 and became a U.S. resident.
Cengiz is expected to speak via video from London at a memorial service for Khashoggi in Washington on Friday.
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