The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Tuesday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has a duty to answer questions now that he has accepted responsibility for the killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year.
Hatice Cengiz told The Associated Press she is apprehensive about returning to the site Wednesday for a ceremony marking the anniversary of Khashoggi’s death, but takes strength knowing she won’t be alone this time.
Cengiz waited outside the consulate last year on Oct. 2 as Khashoggi entered to collect documents needed to marry her. He never re-emerged.
The Washington Post columnist, who wrote critically about the prince, was killed by agents of the Saudi government who apparently dismembered his body, which has never been found.
A vigil is scheduled to be held outside the consulate building Wednesday, starting at 1:14 p.m. (1014 GMT) marking the time Jamal walked into the building.
“I am feeling anxiety, fear and strange things that I cannot express,” she said about returning to the consulate building. “Last year, I was waiting for Jamal on my own. This year the whole world will be waiting with me for Jamal – but we will be waiting for justice for Jamal.”
Earlier this week, Prince Mohammed said in a television interview that he takes “full responsibility” for Khashoggi’s death, but denied allegations that he ordered the killing.
Cengiz said the prince’s words were likely made to “weaken” public pressure over the death in the run up to the anniversary. She added, however, that if the prince was sincere, then “we would have the right to ask him about the details.”
“Why was Jamal killed and why has the public not been informed about the death until now?” she asked. “For instance, we don’t know where the body is. His funeral prayers have not been performed. There has been no burial.”
The Turkish citizen also said a year had passed without any justice for Khashoggi, despite a U.N. report released in June that asserted that the kingdom bore responsibility for the killing and that the crown prince’s role should be investigated. She said, however, that she was hopeful that justice would prevail.
Meanwhile, two dozen activists from the RSF media rights advocacy group staged a protest outside the Saudi consulate in Paris to mark the anniversary of his killing. The activists jumped out of the back of a truck and left dismembered mannequins outside the building.
The head of RSF France, Christophe Deloire, said the NGO was determined to put the killing of the journalist on the agenda of the next Group of 20 summit, scheduled to be held in Riyadh in November 2020.
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