I've died every day since he vanished, says #JamalKhashoggi's fiancée
World / 27 October 2018, 1:41pm / LARISA BROWN MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT
London - Jamal Khashoggi’s grieving fiancée on Friday demanded punishment for all those involved in his murder, saying she had "died every day" since his disappearance.
Hatice Cengiz, who is Turkish, said she would never have planned to marry the journalist had she known it would lead to his death.
She also said she had declined an invitation to meet Donald Trump, saying the US President was not sincere about investigating the killing.
In a tearful TV interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk, she said: "I demand that all those involved in this savagery, from the highest to the lowest levels, are brought to justice."
Mr Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post and critic of the Saudi regime, went into the Istanbul consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork proving that he had divorced his previous wife so he could marry again. Miss Cengiz, who is understood to have been given police protection since he disappeared, waited outside for him for 11 hours but he never came out. She said: "I would never have wanted to marry him if I had known it would lead to his death. Twenty-five days have passed and we die every day."
Her comments came as Turkish prosecutors formally requested the extradition from Saudi Arabia of 18 suspects, according to state media.
Saudi Arabia has now claimed that the high-profile critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had been murdered by a "rogue" hit-squad.
His murder has sparked a diplomatic firestorm for the oil-rich state and the Crown Prince.
Miss Cengiz said Mr Khashoggi had not wanted to go to the Saudi consulate but "he thought Turkey is a safe country and, if he would be held or interrogated, this issue would be swiftly solved".
She said she had asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called her about the case, whether he had any news that would make her happy. "But he said he didn’t," she added.
She said she did not accept President Trump’s invitation to visit the White House because she thought it was aimed at influencing public opinion in his favour. She feared he was being "very political" and she would go when the US was sincere about solving Mr Khashoggi’s death.
For decades, Mr Khashoggi was close to the Saudi royal family. But he fell out of favour and went into self-imposed exile in the US last year.
International pressure has increased on the Saudi leadership to come clean on the case. Turkey says it has gruesome audio recordings of Mr Khashoggi being tortured.
In the Saudis’ latest version of events, a public prosecutor said the killing was premeditated, reversing an earlier statement that Mr Khashoggi was killed accidentally in a fight at the consulate. That came after assertions that he had left the consulate unharmed.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan made fresh demands on Saudi Arabia to disclose the location of the journalist’s body. He said the 18 arrested men "must know" who killed him.
The Saudis’ changing accounts of what happened have been "comic", he added. He called them "childish statements ... not compatible with the seriousness of a nation state".
President Erdogan also said Turkey has other "information and evidence" about Mr Khashoggi’s killing which it will eventually reveal.