Riyadh (October 15, 2018): Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia has warned against threats to punish it over last week’s disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on the pressure and two more US executives scrapped plans to attend a Saudi investor conference.
Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh’s policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey believes he was murdered and his body removed. Saudi Arabia has denied that.
US President Donald Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, though he said Washington would be “punishing” itself if it halted military sales to Riyadh.“The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an unnamed official as saying.
“The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy,” the official added, without elaborating.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington later tweeted what it called a clarification, thanking countries including the US “for refraining from jumping to conclusions” over the case.In a sign Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud may seek a diplomatic solution to the incident, he stressed the strength of Saudi-Turkish ties in a telephone call with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the Saudi press agency said late on Sunday.
The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.
Earlier on October 14, Turkey’s investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has revealed recordings made on his Apple Watch purportedly indicating he was tortured and killed, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.
The report in the pro-government Sabah daily, which could not immediately be verified, emerged after a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into his disappearance.
“The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory,” the paper said, adding that the watch had synched with his iPhone, which his fiancée was carrying outside the consulate.Two senior Turkish officials previously told Reuters that Khashoggi had been wearing a black Apple Watch when he entered the consulate and that it was connected to a mobile phone he left outside.
However, it was not clear whether data from Khashoggi’s Watch could have been transmitted to his phone outside, or how investigators could have retrieved it without obtaining the watch themselves.Technology experts say it is highly unlikely the Watch could have recorded actions inside the embassy and uploaded them to an iCloud account. Most models of the Watch require that it be within 30 to 50 feet (9-15 meters) of the iPhone that it is paired with to upload data to Apple’s iCloud, they said.
Even newer models that can communicate with the cloud directly via wireless require either connection to a nearby WiFi network or a type of cellular connection that is not available in Turkey, the experts say.