Prince who vanished in Istanbul says his wife had affair with Saudi official

The teenage daughter of a former Saudi cabinet minister, Mohammed Alwash, told a Turkish court on Tuesday that she had learned of her father’s arrest two days before he was detained on Oct. 2,…

Prince who vanished in Istanbul says his wife had affair with Saudi official

The teenage daughter of a former Saudi cabinet minister, Mohammed Alwash, told a Turkish court on Tuesday that she had learned of her father’s arrest two days before he was detained on Oct. 2, Reuters reported. The 17-year-old had previously stated that she was unaware of her father’s pending detention, and had never set foot inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he had reportedly been held by Turkish authorities since Oct. 2.

The teenager, whose birth name is Mohammed Alwash, was read her right to remain silent by a judge on the fifth day of her testimony. She was recently granted a limited release from custody, but she could still face trial in absentia on charges that she helped her father, former economy minister Mohammed Alwash, disappear in a Saudi consulate. In a statement issued by her lawyer on Monday, Mohammed Alwash, 67, said he was detained in Turkey because his wife had an affair with a Saudi man, Khaled bin Saud Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Qahtani, a ministerial aide who has already been indicted in connection with Alwash’s disappearance. Mohammed Alwash has maintained his innocence and believes the accusations against him are fabricated.

On Monday, the mother of one of the women who helped report Alwash to the Turkish government told reporters that the eldest daughter had been offered $100,000 to accompany her father to the airport and hand him over to Saudi authorities. The woman, Samar Badawi, was formerly an aide to former Women’s League minister Hatoon al-Fassi, who served under Salman. Samar Badawi told reporters that the offer was in response to photos and video of her husband kissing another woman on the lips while Alwash was detained.

Details about the events surrounding Alwash’s disappearance remain a mystery. King Salman, who ascended to the throne of Saudi Arabia in January of last year, has maintained tight control over the kingdom’s government, sidelining any pressure from the incoming royal succession, Reuters reports. He has also replaced or reassigned most of the family members loyal to his late elder brother and predecessor King Abdullah.

Previously, news reports had indicated that Alwash had gone missing after he underwent gallbladder surgery. Saudi officials have consistently denied claims that he had been detained by police.

Some observers have suggested the following explanations for the circumstances surrounding Alwash’s disappearance: that he might have been traveling with a Saudi consular official, that he might have killed himself in the Istanbul consulate, or that he might have been killed by an “insurgent cell.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

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