Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee admits she partly blames herself for murder

Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz reveals she suffered a ‘psychological meltdown’ after his murder and admits she partly blames herself because he went to Saudi consulate ‘because of me’

  • Hatice Cengiz waited in vain for Khashoggi to emerge from the Saudi consulate
  • He had gone into the building in Istanbul to collect papers for their marriage 
  • She said she fears Khashoggi was angry with her when he realised it was a trap 

Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee has said she suffered a ‘psychological meltdown’ in the wake of his death in a Saudi consulate, and partly blames herself because he went there to collect papers for their marriage. 

Hatice Cengiz said she was haunted by the thought that Khashoggi had been angry with her in the moments before his death when he realised he had walked into a trap.

Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents a year ago on Wednesday while Cengiz waited in vain for him to return.   

Speaking to The Times, Cengiz said the dissident journalist had wanted to draw the world’s attention to Saudi Arabia – and had certainly done so in death.  

Hatice Cengiz (right), the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, at a memorial event in Istanbul yesterday with Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post for whom Khashoggi worked

Khashoggi was last seen alive on October 2, 2018, when he went to the Istanbul consulate to collect papers he needed to marry Cengiz, a Turkish citizen. 

After entering the building he was accosted by Saudi agents who murdered him and apparently dismembered his body. 

His remains have never been found, and his death remains shrouded in mystery. 

‘I know rationally that it’s not my fault. They laid a trap for him to be murdered,’ Cengiz told the newspaper. 

Khashoggi (pictured) was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a year ago

‘But he went because of me. It’s what happens – all these thoughts come into your mind.’  

She said she had wondered ‘when he saw everything that was waiting for him, prepared, whether he asked himself if it would be better if he hadn’t had to come here.’ 

Yesterday Cengiz helped to unveil a new memorial for Khashoggi as his friends marked the first anniversary of his death. 

Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post where Khashoggi was a columnist, paid tribute to Cengiz after embracing her at the event. 

‘No one should ever have to endure what you did,’ Bezos said. ‘You need to know that you are in our hearts. We are here and you are not alone.’ 

Cengiz said she felt ‘anxiety, fear and strange things that I cannot express’ about returning to the site. 

‘Last year, I was waiting for Jamal on my own. This year the whole world will be waiting with me for Jamal – but we will be waiting for justice for Jamal,’ she said.

Khashoggi was a former royal insider who had become a sharp critic of the Saudi regime and it is widely suspected that the crown prince wanted him dead. 

A UN report published in June said there was ‘credible evidence’ linking Prince Mohammed to the killing. 

Hatice Cengiz, pictured yesterday, returned to the place where she waited anxiously for Khashoggi to emerge from the Saudi consulate last year where he was collecting paperwork 

Cengiz (centre) and Bezos (second left) stand over a new memorial for Khashoggi (whose name is written in Turkish spelling) in Istanbul yesterday

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured last month, has come under widespread suspicion over the death but has denied involvement 

In a 99-page report, the UN’s special investigator Agnes Callamard said experts found it ‘inconceivable’ that a sophisticated 15-man mission to kill Khashoggi could have happened without Prince Mohammed’s knowledge.  

An audio recording of Khashoggi’s final moments, heard by UN investigators, apparently reveals how his killers discussed cutting his body into pieces, before accosting Khashoggi who died amid ‘sounds of a struggle’. 

In an interview this week Prince Mohammed said he took ‘full responsibility’ for Khashoggi’s death, but denied that he ordered the murder.  

Riyadh’s ever-changing explanations for the death helped to fuel suspicion that the prince was behind the operation.

Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of what happened, insisting for weeks that Khashoggi had walked out of the consulate alive.   

After finally acknowledging that Khashoggi had died in the building, Saudi officials then claimed he had died accidentally during a brawl.  

Changing tack again, the Saudis then admitted the journalist was murdered, charged 11 people but denied that the prince had been involved. 

The 11 suspects are apparently still facing charges but few details of the case have been released.   

Source: Read Full Article