Fiancée of slain writer Khashoggi pleads for US response

Instead, on her first trip to the USA capital on Thursday, Cengiz shared with American lawmakers her grief for the slain journalist.

"I still feel that I'll wake up and it will get back to that", she said.

"It wasn't just Jamal that was killed it is also the values that we are talking about here: freedom, of the United States".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi royal family, was murdered by Saudi government agents at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul late past year while trying to retrieve personal paperwork for his forthcoming marriage to Cengiz.

"As I hoped for good news from him that our marriage papers were in order, as I eagerly awaited the happy surprise of seeing him again, no such things ever happened", Cengiz, a Turkish national, said in written testimony.

"Jamal was the target of unspeakably brutal violence sanctioned as retribution for speaking out for human rights and freedom in his homeland", Congressman Adam Schiff, co-chair of the Press Freedom Caucus, said before introducing Cengiz. Human rights advocates have raised concerns and called for greater transparency from the Saudi government.

Cengiz met Khashoggi at a conference in Istanbul in 2018, and after numerous interactions, the two connected and Khashoggi asked for her hand in marriage, with plans to move to Washington. "And I can not understand that the world still has not done anything about this".

In her testimony, Cengiz lamented that "nothing was done" about the murder over the past six months.

US President Donald Trump and members of his administration have declined to assign blame to Crown Prince Mohammed and instead emphasised the importance of the US's strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are rivals, and Erdogan's government reacted with anger to the kingdom's apparent belief that it could kill one of its citizens with impunity on Turkish soil.

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The US Senate also passed a unanimous resolution late past year saying that it believes the crown prince was behind the killing.

Urging the US Congress to lead a new worldwide probe into the writer's killing, she said the US President Donald Trump told her the issue would be solved, yet "seven, eight months later we see nothing has been done and that is why I'm here today".

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, appeared before a US House of Representatives panel on Thursday to share her love for her fiance and call for a US-sponsored global investigation into his killing.

"We can either go on as if nothing has happened. or we can act, we can leave aside all interests, worldwide interests and politics, and focus on the values for a better life".

"The legal procedure that Saudi Arabia undertook is not transparent", she added, speaking through a translator.

"We still don't know why he was killed".

"What we are faced with now is not a normal country, not a normal leader", Erdogan said, according to Cengiz.

She urged lawmakers to back an global investigation to compel Saudi Arabia to reveal the details of the crime. She called for sanctions to punish Saudi Arabia and for Washington to push for the freedom of political prisoners held in the kingdom.

But US legislators, while sympathetic to her cause, have been unable to offer concrete assurances that the United States will pursue an investigation into the grisly murder. "And he felt responsible for them, and he said, 'In the United States I can be their voice, '" Cengiz told lawmakers.

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