Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has urged the British government to block a planned Saudi Arabia-funded takeover of Premier League team Newcastle United.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Cengiz urged the UK government to stop Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to “raise himself above the law of the land” with the proposed takeover.
Khashoggi’s fiancee said the Saudi crown prince has been using this takeover to improve his shaken image on the world stage, although many details of the murder are still unknown.
“He uses this kind of commercial investment initiatives to get his legitimacy back into the world stage,” Cengiz told Anadolu Agency, adding: “In other words, he abuses this takeover to come clean.”
Saudi Arabia is not a country with a modern law and justice system that is accepted throughout the modern world today, Cengiz said.
Besides, she added: “the Saudi Prince is above any law in his country.”
“If this sale happens, you will have given him the message that he is above the law in your country,” she said, and added: “Do not let him raise himself above the law of your land,” calling on British authorities.
Cengiz asked why the human rights organizations, lawyers and journalists are still waiting for this sale to happen. “It’ll not matter once the sale is closed. They need to act before it’s too late,” she said.
She also urged human rights groups to immediately take action to stop Saudi takeover of Newcastle United FC. She said once the sale happens, they can not take any action beyond “condemning”.
British billionaire Mike Ashley, the current owner of Newcastle United since 2007, put the club up for sale in 2017.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund, chaired by bin Salman, bid some £300 million ($374 million) to take over Newcastle. If the transaction is approved, the fund will own 80% of the club.
Call for international probe into Khashoggi murder
Cengiz also added that the Saudi government has not carried out a proper investigation on the murder of Khashoggi.
“Rather, they either covered up or denied the already revealed facts,” she said.
She also called on the UN to launch an international investigation into Khashoggi murder. “Now it is already time to start an international investigation or mobilize the international institutions in this regard,” she said, and asked: “What is the reason to wait any longer?”
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.
Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building while seeking to shift blame for his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.
Khashoggi’s body has never been found.
UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Agnes Callamard concluded in an earlier report that Khashoggi’s murder was a “deliberate, premeditated execution” and encouraged an investigation of bin Salman.
Saudi officials, however, have insisted that the crown prince was not involved in the murder.
Saudi Arabia announced at the end of last year death penalty for five people for taking part in Khashoggi’s murder.
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