A senior Saudi official attempted to kidnap a former employee of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and put him in a diplomatic van to take him to the Saudi Consulate in Jeddah, the daughter of the employee has told CNN.
The wife of Salman al-Fawaz, a 52-year-old driver of the consulate, visited him on Tuesday and “immediately saw the suspect approaching with a suitcase in his hand,” said the daughter, who goes by the name Nada.
“I heard them yelling, ‘Man, get out of the suitcase, get out of the suitcase.’ And he got off. He walked away toward the back,” she said. “When I saw that he was not frightened, I got even more worried.”
Nada was in the kitchen helping her mother with dinner, according to CNN.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry told CNN on Monday that officials deny the allegations.
The TV news channel has confirmed the claim by officials of the Saudi Embassy, which said they would “review all elements of the news report to determine if any (Saudi) officials or consulate officials were involved.” CNN says the embassy told them it has conducted its own investigation and concluded that the men who tried to kidnap the driver were some of the royal family’s bodyguards, rather than consulate officials.
Nada said she also informed the Turkish government about the attempt, which she said was an attempt to snatch her father, who does not speak Turkish and who suffers from cancer.
“I am making this information public for my father’s sake and the sake of Saudi Arabia,” she said, according to CNN.
CNN reported that authorities in Turkey are searching for evidence to support the kidnap attempt and that an initial joint team led by the local prosecutor has begun investigating the incident.
“We assure that no such incident happened in connection with Mr. Fawaz, nor did any official or employee of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Istanbul detain or grab him,” the Saudi embassy said.
Read the full story at CNN.
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