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Khashoggi fiancée meets with lawmakers seeking 'justice and accountability' for his slaying

Khashoggi fiancée meets with lawmakers seeking 'justice and accountability' for his slaying
© Aaron Schwartz

The former fiancée of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday to lobby Congress to hold those responsible for his killing last year accountable.

“I am here for one reason and one reason only — to bring justice and accountability for Jamal, my beloved who was brutally murdered by Saudi agents. The Trump Administration has failed to take any significant action to hold anyone accountable for this heinous crime, so I am here to ask conscientious members of Congress to ensure accountability and real consequences for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Hatice Cengiz said in a statement released Friday. 

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Khashoggi, a Saudi-born columnist for The Washington Post who lived in Virginia, was brutally slain and dismembered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just over a year ago while trying to get documents for his marriage to Cengiz.

The intelligence community has said it is confident Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing due to his criticism of the Saudi Royal Court, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE has refrained from directly blaming the prince for the death.

Cengiz has teamed up with Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), a group Khashoggi founded, to promote democracy and to push international leaders to seek justice over the 2018 slaying.

“Our clients, Ms. Cengiz and DAWN have asked us to pursue accountability in all its forms,” said former Ambassador Keith Harper, who the team has hired as its attorney. “We are exploring all options and we are on the Hill today to ask our nation’s lawmakers to hold accountable Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials who are responsible for this awful crime.” 

Cengiz also met with lawmakers shortly after Khashoggi’s murder, but later wrote she is disappointed with inaction from Capitol Hill in the face of a near-unanimous consensus that the crown prince ordered the killing.

“His loss was still fresh in the minds of the Democrats and Republicans I met. Individually, they all expressed their sympathies, spoke to me about how perhaps some progress might be made in the days ahead. Yet I sensed that they also felt embarrassed: No solid action has been taken yet,” she wrote in a June op-ed in The New York Times

Cengiz Thursday met with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot Bottom line Incoming Congress looks more like America MORE (D-Calif.) and Reps. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiFive things to know about Antony Blinken, Biden's pick for State Malinowski beats back GOP challenge in New Jersey House race Phil Murphy says no coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey linked to Trump fundraiser MORE (D-N.J.) and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement MORE (D-Calif.).

Saudi Arabia has denied any allegations that the royal court was involved in Khashoggi's death.