The lies and deception in the Khashoggi case!

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When asked about the official Saudi response to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I told Arab and foreign media that our story has always been clear, simple and firm: Jamal visited the consulate to do some paperwork and left. The end.

Journalists and Turkish investigators were invited to inspect the building and a security delegation was immediately sent to help with the investigation of his disappearance.

Both sides agreed to work quietly until they completed their mission and presented the conclusions. The Saudis kept their promise; the Turks did not. Leaks and allegations filled the Turkish media, attributed to unnamed sources. They were mostly inconsistent, contradictory and illogical.

Journalists who used their wide imagination to publish dramatically enhanced stories belong to tabloid press or have hidden agendas. The latter includes Iranian, Qatari and Brotherhood media. Liberal and leftist Western press followed suit. Highly acclaimed papers like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and The Independent have joined in the anti-Saudi campaign. They shamelessly carried the lurid Turkish stories without checking on them. All have jumped to conclusions and have judged Saudi Arabia even before the end of the investigation.

The Kingdom, through its long history, has never assassinated its dissidents, at home or abroad. Some of them still live abroad, supported by Iran and Qatar, calling for a revolution and sponsoring the assassination of Saudi leaders, like late King Abdullah. Jamal never regarded himself as a dissident, and his government never treated him as one. Therefore, it makes no sense to have picked on him.

Look at the way the Turkish-Qatari narrative evolved. First, they insisted the man was held in the consulate. After the media visit, they claimed he was tortured, killed, cut to pieces and taken somewhere else. No less than 15 Saudi elite troopers came in two private jets from two different cities, Cairo and Dubai, carrying an electric saw, to do the horrendous job. They return hours later to Saudi Arabia. Somehow, airport security failed to detect their weapons, including the large electric saw, on their arrival and return.

Although there were no witnesses inside the consulate, especially after reports claimed that the Turkish staff had been given leave that day (which contradicted Jamal’s alleged fiancée’s story), the reports graphically depict scenes of torture, resistance, screams, killing and body dismemberment.

They claim that videos were recorded by Jamal’s Apple Watch, sent by Bluetooth to his mobile kept with his fiancée outside.

It seems that those making this claim do not know that the Apple Watch does not include a camera, and the Bluetooth range does not extend that far!

Moreover, if the Turks already had evidence since the very first day, why wait and have a lengthy investigation? Supposedly they already have all they need to implicate Saudi Arabia! And if his fiancée knew all along what had happened, why conduct a sit-in every day at the consulate gates demanding his release?

If not from the Apple Watch, where did the alleged videos come from? Could it be that the Turks have installed hidden cameras and microphones inside the building? If so, why then do they ask for entry to the consulate to look for evidence?

If the goal were to get rid of Jamal, wouldn’t a single bullet or injection with a needle suffice? And why not hire a Turkish assassin to do the job away from the consulate? Turkey has no shortage of gangs specialized in such business, as the country’s official statistics put the number of people kidnapped and killed last year at over 15,000 victims.

All the above questions are valid, but are not asked by the Western media. Still, the most important one is: Who benefits from such a crime? Clearly, Saudi Arabia benefits the least. Look at what the Kingdom has had to go through to defend its innocence.

How about Iran? Or Qatar? Both have an interest in putting their sworn enemy on the hot seat. Both would benefit from a clash between Saudi Arabia and its allies – the US and Turkey. And Iran would have the extra bonus of putting its strongest Sunni competitors at odds with each other. Iran has a long history of targeting Saudi diplomats in Turkey, going back to at least 1991. Not to mention its specialty - cyber attacks. The Iranians managed to cripple the Aramco system twice, as well as many Saudi banks and companies. That might explain the camera network failure the day Jamal visited the consulate.

I believe it is about time we go on the offensive. Once the case is settled, the Saudi government and the Khashoggi family should take all media offenders, Arab and non-Arab, to court in the US and Europe, as Turkish, Iranian and Qatari legal systems are a hopeless case. They must pay, apologize and be made an example of. They cannot get away with character assassination!

— Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at kbatarfi@gmail.com. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi


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