Khashoggi killing

Jokowi expresses concerns, calls for transparent probe

Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcoming Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, yesterday. Mr al-Jubeir's visit is a follow-up to that of Saudi King Salman in March last year.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcoming Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, yesterday. Mr al-Jubeir's visit is a follow-up to that of Saudi King Salman in March last year.PHOTO: REUTERS

President Joko Widodo has said that Indonesia hopes the investigation into the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul will be carried out "transparently and thoroughly".

Mr Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, expressed his concerns over the killing of Mr Khashoggi during his meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir yesterday, said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Ms Retno was speaking to reporters after Mr al-Jubeir had called on President Joko at Istana Bogor in West Java.

When pressed for more details of the discussion, she said the meeting did not go into specifics. She added that she will be meeting her Saudi counterpart for bilateral talks today in Jakarta.

Mr al-Jubeir's visit this week is a follow-up to the visit by Saudi King Salman in March last year. He is scheduled to sit down with Ms Retno for the first joint commission meeting between the two countries to review their cooperation in the past year.

His visit also comes just days after Saudi Arabia confirmed that Mr Khashoggi had been killed at its consulate in Istanbul in a "rogue operation" that has sparked an international outcry.

Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was an outspoken journalist who once had close ties to the Saudi royal family.

Turkish intelligence sources have leaked information that strongly implicates Saudi Arabian government figures in the murder.

The Saudi Foreign Minister told Fox News on Sunday that the government does not know where the body of Mr Khashoggi is, although he referred to the killing as a "tremendous mistake". He also said the Saudi leadership had initially believed that Mr Khashoggi had left its consulate in Istanbul, where he was last seen on Oct 2.

Sceptics have questioned the official Saudi narrative that Mr Khashoggi was reportedly strangled during a fist fight with Saudi security officials after a confrontation in the consulate, including the flip-flopping by the Saudi royals over their knowledge of the journalist's whereabouts.

Indonesia's Alliance of Independent Journalists on Sunday called on the international community to monitor the legal process of the alleged murderers.

"The international community should take part in ensuring that the perpetrators are punished fairly and independently," chairman Abdul Manan told The Jakarta Post.

He also said the case should be brought to an international court.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) and the World Editors Forum called for Saudi Arabia to provide answers in the case. It also asked the Turkish authorities to provide proof of their claims of Saudi involvement and urged increased international pressure for a full, verifiable accounting from the Saudi monarchy on the events leading up to Mr Khashoggi's death.

Wan-Ifra also said if the allegation of a state-sanctioned killing were to be proven, it should be met with universal condemnation and a genuine commitment to actively support efforts to improve the safety of journalists worldwide.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'Jokowi expresses concerns, calls for transparent probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe