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Khashoggi’s wife requests help from U.S. and U.N.



Khashoggi's wife requests help from U.S. and U.N.

Khashoggi’s wife requests help from U.S. and U.N.

Jamal Khashoggi’s widow asked the U.S. intel chief and the U.N. secretary-general for help retrieving her husband’s laptop, cell phones and tablet as she makes lawsuits in the U.S.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s widow has asked the U.S. government and United Nations to intervene and help her recover so she can take legal action before the statute of limitations runs out later this year, according to letters, papers and other details about her efforts shared with our correspondents.

Hanan Elatr Laments

It’s been more than a year since Hanan Elatr Khashoggi first requested the laptop, tablet and two cell phones of the Washington Post columnist who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. She’s hoping to increase pressure on Turkey to comply by getting help from Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Khashoggi’s wife requests help from U.S. and U.N.

The letters, sent in November and January, said that she believed the devices “will reveal previously undisclosed details about my husband’s murder that are critical to knowing the full truth.”

“I have the right to receive all of his possessions, particularly now as I am embarking on legal action in the United States against all parties responsible for my husband’s murder,” Hanan Elatr Khashoggi wrote in both letters, naming NSO Group, an Israeli cyber-intelligence firm, and the Saudi and Emirati governments as planned targets of future lawsuits.

She said Turkey recovered the devices shortly after her husband’s death and wrote in her letters that her personal appeals to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the phones, laptop and tablet “have not been honoured.”

Erdogan’s office and the Turkish Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. However, the Turkish Embassy sent Hanan Elatr Khashoggi’s attorney a letter in December 2021 that suggested she send “her request to the respective Turkish courts through appropriate legal channels.”


Khashoggi’s wife requests help from U.S. and U.N.

Hanan Elatr Khashoggi, an Egyptian, said she cannot pursue legal action in Turkey because she is in the U.S. under political asylum, does not have a passport and does not have the necessary finances.

Jamal Khashoggi’s devices are “so important and so vital,” she said in an interview — a point emphasized by her lawyer Randa Fahmy — to knowing what led to Jamal Khashoggi’s death and holding all responsible parties to account.


Jamal Khashoggi
Hanan Elatr Khashoggi discovered in November 2021 that cyber-intelligence firm NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware had been installed on her two Android phones without her knowledge when she was in the United Arab Emirates months before her husband’s death.


The spyware’s discovery started the clock on her ability to take legal action. According to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, she has two years to file her case since its detection. Unfortunately, that window ends this November.

Hanan Elatr Khashoggi contends that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and NSO Group’s alleged surveillance of the couple all contributed to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, and she intends to file three separate lawsuits against them in U.S. courts. She believes finding similar spyware on her husband’s devices will support her cases.

“It is not only Saudi Arabia that is guilty,” she told NBC News, referring to her husband’s death. “Many are guilty, and we have a right to know and bring them to justice.”

Saudi Arabia and the UAE did not respond to requests for comment. NSO Group has denied any involvement.

“NSO has repeatedly stated that our technology was not associated in any way with the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi or any of his family members, including Hanan Elatr,” an NSO Group spokesperson said.


The first legal case Hanan Elatr Khashoggi said she intends to file in a U.S. court is against Saudi Arabia with criminal and civil claims over the killing of her husband, despite the Biden administration’s decision that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sovereign immunity in his role as Saudi Arabia’s prime minister.

Hanan Elatr Khashoggi.
Hanan Elatr Khashoggi.

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