Jeff Bezos embraced Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee and unveiled a memorial to the murdered journalist today on the first anniversary of the journalist’s death.
Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents at the Gulf kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul after entering the building on October 2, 2018.
At a ceremony nearby today, Bezos – the owner of the Washington Post where Khashoggi was a columnist – paid tribute to the writer’s partner Hatice Cengiz who waited in vain for Khashoggi to emerge from the consulate.
‘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.’
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos embraces Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz at a memorial event in Istanbul today, one year since the dissident Saudi journalist was murdered
Jeff Bezos and Hatice Cengiz stand over a new memorial stone for Khashoggi which was unveiled today, at a ceremony near the consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen alive
The memorial today began at 1.14pm, the time that Khashoggi was last seen alive when he entered the consulate.
At the ceremony today activists demanded a full UN investigation into the murder, which remains shrouded in mystery.
They also unveiled a memorial for Khashoggi, a former royal insider who had become a sharp critic of the Saudi regime.
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 collecting paperwork related to the couple’s planned marriage when he was killed.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is widely suspected of ordering the killing, which was carried out by agents of the Saudi government.
A UN report published in June said there was ‘credible evidence’ linking the crown prince to the killing.
Hatice Cengiz, pictured, returned to the place where she waited anxiously for Khashoggi to emerge from the Saudi consulate last year where he was collecting paperwork
Jeff Bezos, pictured left with Cengiz today, is the owner of the Washington Post where Khashoggi was a columnist
Jamal Khashoggi (pictured in Istanbul months before his death) was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after entering the building one year ago today
Khashoggi’s body is believed to have been dismembered and his remains have never been found.
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 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.
Two of the alleged hit squad had used diplomatic passports, and that the encounter at the consulate was ‘only possible because of the pretense of government service’, she said.
Prince Mohammed had allowed a wide-ranging crackdown on journalists and regime opponents in the past, she said.
On top of that, she said Saudi officials ‘multiple steps apparently designed to destroy evidence’ after Khashoggi’s death.
In an interview this week Prince Mohammed said he took ‘full responsibility’ for Khashoggi’s death, but denied that he ordered the murder.
Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, left, and Hatice Cengiz, right, applaud a speaker during today’s memorial ceremony in Istanbul where Khashoggi died
Bezos and Cengiz stand over a memorial stone for Khashoggi in Istanbul today. The death remains shrouded in mystery and Khashoggi’s body has never been found
Bezos speaks during the event today, paying tribute to Cengiz and saying: ‘No one should ever have to endure what you did’
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured last month, has come under widespread suspicion over the death but has denied involvement
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.
America has alleged that his right-hand man Saud al-Qahtani ‘was part of the planning and execution of the operation’ to kill Khashoggi.
The killing strained Saudi Arabia’s relations with the West and led to some demands for Europe and the U.S. to cut arms exports to the Gulf kingdom.
But U.S. President Donald Trump – who called Saudi Arabia’s explanation credible – and French leader Emmanuel Macron both rejected the idea of cancelling weapons deals.