A court in Istanbul has kicked off the trial of 20 Saudis today. They are accused by Turkish authorities of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Two of the accused are considered close associates to the heir to the Saudi Arabian throne, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.
Hatice Cengiz, fiancé of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is fighting to stop a Saudi consortium controlled by its Crown Prince from buying Premier League football club Newcastle United. In a letter sent by her lawyers, she said that the Saudi acquisition would make English football complicit in Khashoggi’s assassination.
Saudi Arabia is relying on a global telecoms service exploit to spy on its citizens. Dubbed SS7, the data mediation feature allows users to send messages across different networks and countries. It, for example, allows T-Mobile users to communicate with subscribers on the Verizon network.
Turkish prosecutors announced on Wednesday that it had formally charged 20 Saudis, two among them very close associates of the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known by the acronym MBS, for the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government.
UN experts on Wednesday called for an investigation into the hacking and subsequent theft of private and confidential information from the cell phone of Amazon founder and president, Jeff Bezos. The phone was reportedly hacked after he received a WhatsApp video message from an account linked to Saudi crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman.
A Saudi Arabian court sentenced five people to death on Monday, accused of participating in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. The execution generated strong international criticism against the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, who was accused by the UN of involvement in the murder.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced a “lack of transparency” in the trial of the 11 defendants for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “The Saudi Arabian government should make clear to the world that it would be willing to cooperate with a UN investigation, including allowing access to evidence and suspects implicated in the crime in Saudi Arabia,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If the Saudi government seeks a UN investigation into the recent attack on its oil facilities, then it should also show that it is committed to and will cooperate with an investigation into this murder.”
Salah Khashoggi, son of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has come out in defense of Saudi authorities, accusing “enemies of the motherland” of “exploiting” the case ahead of the first anniversary of his father’s killing. “A year has gone by since the passing of my beloved father. During this time, opponents and enemies in the East and West sought to exploit his case . . . to undermine my country and leadership,” he said in a tweet.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.
The majority of all global conflicts are connected to oil. The map below provides the current oil resources available globally. The power of the Black Gold and greed has been overriding human lives for close to 100 years. The first large scale demand for petroleum was documented in the 1880s due to kerosene been derived from petroleum.
It’s said that nothing ever really gets done at the G20, which is currently meeting in Osaka, Japan. Nineteen member countries and the European Union agreed to a new deal to tackle climate change. Guess who was the lone holdout. President Trump was harshly criticized, at home and abroad, for praising Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist (who had legal residency in the U.S.) Jamal Khashoggi. There was one cautiously positive development to emerge from the summit, however. Trump and Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to restart talks and temporarily de-escalate the trade war.
- Turkey claims the Kingdom of Saud murdered a journalist inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. The Saudi reporter, Jamal Khashoggi, was an immigrant to America with Permanent Resident status. The White House has some doubts about Turkey’s claims.
- A growing number of celebrities and organizations are severing ties with Saudi Arabia and calling on President Trump to punish them by cutting off the sale of American armaments. Mr. Trump has promised to investigate and punish the perpetrators. However, he says “I don’t want to hurt jobs.”
- Some Americans are still suspicious of Saudi Arabia due to its connections with those who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Critics also worry about Saudi money influencing American foreign policy and the consequences of American arms being used in the war in Yemen.
- Outsiders still don’t have a clear idea of the purpose and politics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent consolidation of power. However, there are few good choices for partners in the Middle East and support for the Saudis comes mostly from foreign policy analysts who worry about the growing alliance between Turkey, Iran and Russia.