Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out some paperwork.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to be in fear of losing his grip on the kingdom following dissidence in his camp.

Meanwhile, a feared writer of the prince, Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out some paperwork.

Turkey’s presidential spokesperson states that Khashoggi remains inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a day after his fiancée reported he had failed to return from a meeting.

However, a Saudi official quoted by the Reuters news agency said the journalist was “not in the consulate nor in Saudi custody”.

Khashoggi, an honest free speaker

According to the Middle East Eye, the crown prince and his circle fear Khashoggi, an honest, free speaker who sticks to his principles. Is his disappearance a testament to this fact?

Khashoggi once regarding himself as a loyalist, a son of the establishment, a journalist and foreign policy veteran who not so long ago was inside the benighted circle of the royal court. On occasions, he travelled with them.

Writer David Hearst highlights how Khashoggi adhered to one principle that the small circle around Mohammed bin Salman could not stomach, a quality that earned him their undying enmity. Khashoggi was honest. He could not be bought. He spoke his mind and was clear about what he was saying.

He thought that there was only one path on which the kingdom should be headed in the 21st Century – that is of a slowly opening democracy headed by a gradually retreating constitutional monarchy.

Khashoggi was quite vocal over his fears that the crown prince would eventually bankrupt the country as a result of his vanity projects to raise new gleaming cities in the sand – cities that would remain empty. He recognized that the crown prince was popular with the youth, but calculated that popularity would last up to the point where they had to open their wallets. The Saudi journalist paid heed to reports of capital flight.

Khashoggi has now been detained for over 24 hours in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul which speaks volumes about the character and intentions of those running the show in Riyadh. But nobody has heard from Khashoggi, the crown prince no doubt wants to silence him.

Hearst writes that Mohammed bin Salman is shocking. He is vindictive. He bears grudges. He is supremely willful. He has absolutely no respect for another country’s sovereignty, territory, courts or media. He is reckless. That he should have staged this stunt in Istanbul, on Turkish soil, is a measure of how reckless the Saudi crown prince and the narrow circle around him are.

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Author

Omar Hajjar is a journalist based in the UK. An investigative reporter, he has lived in 3 different countries in the Middle East over the past 10 years.

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