Saudi Arabia’s interior minister rejected Saturday claims there were orders to kill missing Riyadh critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, describing them as “baseless allegations and lies”.
Prince Abdel Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef added that his country was “in compliance with international laws and conventions,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported him saying.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, vanished on October 2 after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.
Turkish police and numerous media have claimed he was tortured and killed at the consulate.
His case risks hurting not just fragile Turkish-Saudi relations but also damaging the image of the kingdom and its ties to the West as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promotes a reform drive at home.
The Saudi minister, in the first ministerial reaction to the accusations about Khashoggi’s killing, said he welcomed the cooperation between his country and Turkey to clarify the circumstances of the disappearance.