Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has urged the British government to block a planned Saudi Arabia-funded takeover of Premier League team Newcastle United.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Cengiz urged the U.K. government to stop Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to "raise himself above the law of the land" with the proposed takeover.
Khashoggi's fiancee said the Saudi crown prince has been using this takeover to improve his shaken image on the world stage, although many details of the murder are still unknown. "He uses this kind of commercial investment initiatives to get his legitimacy back into the world stage," Cengiz told AA, adding, "In other words, he abuses this takeover to come clean."
Cengiz asked why the human rights organizations, lawyers and journalists are still waiting for this sale to happen. "It'll not matter once the sale is closed. They need to act before it's too late," she said.
She also urged human rights groups to immediately take action to stop the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United FC. She said once the sale happens, they can not take any action beyond "condemning."
British billionaire Mike Ashley, the current owner of Newcastle United since 2007, put the club up for sale in 2017. The Saudi Public Investment Fund, chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, bid some £300 million ($374 million) to take over Newcastle. If the transaction is approved, the fund will own 80% of the club.
Cengiz also added that the Saudi government has not carried out a proper investigation on the murder of Khashoggi. "Rather, they either covered up or denied the already revealed facts," she said. She also called on the United Nations to launch an international investigation into Khashoggi murder.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building while seeking to shift blame for his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents. Khashoggi's body has never been found.
U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Agnes Callamard concluded in an earlier report that Khashoggi's murder was a "deliberate, premeditated execution" and encouraged an investigation of Mohammed bin Salman.
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