Saudi official’s daughter says country sought to question her in Khashoggi investigation

The daughter of a Saudi official accused of involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi says that the kingdom attempted to lure her to Istanbul to interrogate her father.

Essam al-Sanea, the daughter of Khashoggi’s longtime business contact and longtime Saudi royal adviser Muqrin al-Sanea, said Wednesday that the government offered her and her brother jobs to force them to leave their homes in Doha and return to Saudi Arabia.

“My father was well known in Doha and even up until last week,” Essam al-Sanea told the Gulf News. “He was known to quite a lot of people. … Some might call him an heir-apparent.”

She added: “From the reports we have received, I can say they are very scared people. They don’t want their children to return and become enemies.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Turkey has said the killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the crown prince has denied any involvement.

Although al-Sanea declined to name who initiated the meetings with her, she told the Gulf News that authorities in Riyadh offered her an easy life and no fear if she returned to the kingdom.

“They looked like high-paying jobs,” al-Sanea said. “They saw [it as] their opportunity to hire our father and get him back in Saudi Arabia.”

At least eight other families of Khashoggi’s friends have been approached by Saudi authorities over the past year, the Los Angeles Times reported in January.

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