Hatice Cengiz, Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman and others discussed the brazen killing of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the second day of TRT World Forum 2019.

The fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, speaks at the TRT World Forum 2019 on October 22, 2019.
The fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, speaks at the TRT World Forum 2019 on October 22, 2019. (AA)

As the TRT World Forum 2019 came to a wrap on Tuesday, panel guests at the "Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi: A Reflection of Regional Politics?" session questioned when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will accept responsibility for ordering the hit on the journalist over a year ago.

This year's forum theme of "Globalisation in Retreat: Risks and Opportunities" was explored in multiple sessions, talks and speeches at the Istanbul Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

Day one of the event featured guests including Turkish President Erdogan and Malaysia’s governing party leader Anwar Ibrahim. 

Tuesday's topics included far-right extremism, the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and the global refugee crisis.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, Middle East Eye editor David Hearst, Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman and others were guests on a special panel session dedicated to Khashoggi.

The session addressed Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and its connection with changing geopolitical balances in the Middle East.

'I wouldn't want to be in the same room as MBS'

When Cengiz was asked about what she would say to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman if he was in front of her, she said she would not want to be in the same room with him. MBS, as he is popularly known, owes an explanation not only to her but the whole world, Cengiz, who is Turkish, said.

“MBS has to explain; it is one of his citizens who was killed and he hasn’t explained his reason for this even to his own people

It is not an answer he needs to give to me but to everyone."

'As a Yemeni, I know [Saudis] can commit such a crime'

Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman also emphasised that those who are responsible for Khashoggi's killing are also responsible for the war in Yemen.

"As a Yemeni, I know they could commit this kind of crime. They are not fools to make it inside their consulate because it means they committed a crime inside their house but also they are committing the same crime in my country (Yemen)."

"The same crime, the same regime which killed Jamal Khashoggi and dismembered his body," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

Yemen has been at war for almost four years, with a Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed rebels in a relentless fight for control over the country. 

The war has created what's been called the world's worst humanitarian crisis, killing tens of thousands and leaving millions more homeless.

A sham trial?

On October 2, Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee. 

UN and other investigations revealed a hit squad was sent to Istanbul to kill and dismember Khashoggi in the building. Audiotapes of the interrogation and plans to dispose of his remains have also been shared since.

Eleven Saudi officials are on trial in Riyadh for the killing of the former royal insider turned critic of MBS.

The trial is being held behind closed doors but six sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on October 2 more than one of the defendants had mentioned Saud al Qahtani, a key adviser to the kingdom's crown prince, by name.

In the Riyadh trial, the suspects' lawyers have said they were duty-bound as state employees to follow orders, according to a June report by the UN.

Two regional intelligence sources told Reuters previously that Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi's killing by giving orders via Skype to a team of security and intelligence operatives.

The CIA and some Western governments suspect MBS ordered the murder. 

In an interview with CBS program "60 Minutes" broadcast on Sunday, he denied that and called the killing a mistake, but said he ultimately bears responsibility as de facto leader.

Source: TRT World