Foreign Ministry summons Saudi envoy over journalist murder

Finland is calling for a credible and transparent investigation into what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

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Exterior view of Saudi Arabia Embassy in Helsinki / Credit: Google Maps

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Saudi Arabia Ambassador for a discussion about the fate of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“This is diplomatic engagement. He took it very well and said there is understanding for the issue” says Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, Director General for Africa and the Middle East at the Foreign Ministry, who met with the ambassador.

“We raised our expectations and concerns to Saudi authorities when it comes to the investigation that they are doing, and that they need to do” she tells News Now Finland.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Foreign Ministry tweeted that Finland expects “a credible investigation on Khashoggi. Transparency and accountability important”.

Today’s meeting comes after the ministry tweeted on Saturday morning “appalling news about Jamal Khashoggi. Transparent investigation is needed and those responsible must be brought to justice. Defending freedom of the press is a key priority for Finland”.

Director General Mikkola highlighted that Finland’s messaging was similar to what other countries are saying.

“This is something that for example [EU] High Representative Federica Mogherini said yesterday, and in the European Parliament they raised the issue, and I think the messages given to Saudi authorities are quite similar at the moment” she adds.

Missing Journalist Scandal

Jamal Khashoggi, a writer and critic of Saudi Arabia’s rulers, went missing three weeks ago when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and was not seen again.

At first Saudi authorities denied all knowledge of his whereabouts, but then said he had died in a fist fight at the consulate, before conceding he had been murdered but by not on the orders of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.

Video evidence and leaked intelligence however paints a much more gruesome picture of Khashoggi’s brutal interrogation and murder, carried out by a specialist team that flew in from Riyadh especially for the operation.

Turkish authorities say they believe Khashoggi’s body was dismembered and possibly disposed of locally.