FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Jamal Khashoggi, general manager of a new Arabic news channel, speaks during a news conference in Manama, Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is paying influential lobbyists, lawyers and public relations experts nearly $6 million a year to engage U.S. officials and promote the Middle East nation, even after several firms cut ties with the kingdom following the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

Q&A: One year on, Khashoggi’s fiancee still seeking answers

Jamal Khashoggi’s body was never found after he was killed inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul

Nearly a year ago, a team of 15 Saudi government agents was sent to Istanbul, where it killed Saudi columnist and critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate. Khashoggi’s body was never found.

The Oct. 2 killing and attempts to cover it up drew international condemnation, and the reputation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has never fully recovered. Saudi Arabia insists the powerful heir had no involvement in an operation that included agents who reported directly to him.

Saudi Arabia’s trial of some of those agents has been held in secret. As of yet, no one has been convicted.

Khashoggi had entered the consulate to collect a document that would let him wed his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting for him outside. He never returned.

On Thursday, The Associated Press talked with Cengiz on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Below are excerpts of the interview. Cengiz spoke through a Turkish translator, and the interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Nearly one year later, your fiance’s body has not been found and no one has been convicted. What are your thoughts today?

My purpose is to concentrate on what else could be done to enable justice for Jamal. And that’s why I keep attending various events to make Jamal’s voice heard. And, of course, nothing will bring Jamal back. For this reason, my aim is to also give a voice to thousands of prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Do you believe the crown prince ordered this or was directly involved? If so, do you think the world has held him accountable?

When we look at the actions of Saudi Arabia and the debates taking place at the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the independent report that was issued by the independent rapporteur of the United Nations, it shows us that this murder was not limited to the perpetrators. It was committed on a diplomatic compound, and these individuals made use of diplomatic opportunities in order to go to Turkey to commit this crime.

What do you want the crown prince to say that he hasn’t already said?

What I’m expecting the crown prince to tell me is: Why was Jamal killed? Where is his body? What was the motive for this murder? What we witnessed was a horrible murder, actually. So I don’t want him to depict everything like a homicide case on a TV series. I’m curious about the answer to these questions.

Can you discuss how the killing has been politicized by saudi arabia and turkey?

Turkey did its best to make use of diplomatic channels. And I honestly believe that Turkey did not politicize Jamal’s case. Turkey did its best to respect diplomatic rules and to conduct the investigation according to international standards, vis-a-vis international organizations. And as you do know, Jamal’s murder took place in a diplomatic compound and Turkey had to respect this international convention on diplomatic compounds.

As for Saudi Arabia, you mentioned Turkey’s involvement or support of Muslim groups and the Muslim Brotherhood being used as a pretext by Saudi Arabia. I believe that such a stance is an understandable reaction on the Saudi side because a team coming from Saudi Arabia committed murder in Turkey. So, of course, for psychological reasons, without that they will try to put the blame on Turkey or they will try to abuse, you know, Turkey in this larger picture. So it’s quite understandable.

Anything else you’d like to say?

After a year, I can say that the entire world is mobilized for Jamal. During the last month, I gave more than 30 interviews and wrote many columns for international media. During the coming year, what I want to see is concrete reaction. Rather than discussing these questions and answers, I’d like to see and discuss the concrete actions to be taken by international stakeholders.

Aya Batrawy And Robert Bumsted, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

Van der Gulik, McLaren named to Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame

Hockey pro, softball umpire headlining the 2020 class, which will now be celebrated on Sept. 26

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read