‘It is a moral duty,’ says Hatice Cengiz
The fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has renewed her quest to seek answers for the killing, The New York Times reported Friday.
Khashoggi first met Hatice Cengiz at a conference in Istanbul in 2018, and after numerous interactions, the two connected and Khashoggi asked for her hand in marriage.
Everything changed in early October last year when Khashoggi went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for documents that would allow him to marry Cengiz.
Once he entered the consulate, he was subsequently killed. After offering a series of changing narratives to explain what happened, the Saudi government eventually admitted he had died there but blamed the operation on a botched rendition attempt.
In the aftermath, Cengiz met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, gave interviews and even helped with a book about Khashoggi’s life.
After some time, Cengiz became overwhelmed with grief and withdrew from view, according to The Times.
She even rejected an invitation to visit the White House.
Now she is reversing course and is determined to obtain justice for Khashoggi.
“One must take action to conclude this case legally and humanely,” Cengiz told The Times in an interview. “It is a moral duty.”
Cengiz said she is planning to visit the U.S. later this month where she hopes to speak with members of Congress and U.S. President Donald Trump, according to the newspaper.
“I am not a politician, but I can talk about what is moral,” she said. “I don’t know if I can change the mind of a president.”
The official Saudi narrative has been met with international skepticism as well as stern criticism from U.S. lawmakers over the possibility that Khashoggi’s murder could have been carried out without the explicit consent of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
But Trump and his top officials have rejected any role bin Salman played in Khashoggi’s grisly murder.
Trump’s own intelligence community determined with high confidence, however, bin Salman ordered his killing.