Greg Norman’s calling the killing of Jamal Khashoggi a “mistake” has been condemned by the late Washington Post columnist’s fiancée.
The former No.1 golfer leads a series of Saudi-funded tournaments in England and has come under fire for his comments about the horrific death of Khashoggi on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can fix them in the future,” Norman, 67, said Wednesday at an event to promote the tournaments.
Khashoggi, who had written reviews of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had gone to the consulate to collect the documents needed for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, and never left.
Cengiz told the Telegraph newspaper on Thursday that Norman’s comments were “so hurtful”.
“Would you say that if it was your relative?” How can we move forward when those who ordered the murder are still unpunished and continue to try to redeem their legitimacy? said Cengiz. “We should not fall for their wealth and their lies, and lose our morality and our common humanity. We should all insist on truth and justice; only then can we look forward with hope and dignity.”
Cengiz’s statement was released by his lawyer, Rodney Dixon, the British newspaper reported. Dixon’s office did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.
CEO of a Saudi-backed golf company
Turkish officials said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered with a bone saw inside the consulate by a team of Saudi agents. The group included people who worked for the Crown Prince’s office. His remains have not been found.
Western intelligence agencies and the US Congress have said an operation of such magnitude could not have taken place without the Crown Prince’s knowledge.
“I haven’t had a personal conversation with MBS, I’ve never met this guy, but at the same time I read that the Saudi government has made its statements and comments on this and wants to go from forward,” Norman said. .
Australian golfer Karrie Webb, who as a youth idolized Norman, took to Twitter to voice her criticism.
“The little girl in me just died well and truly!! Did someone’s childhood hero disappoint them as much as I am now??” Webb wrote on Thursday.
The little girl in me has just died!! Has anyone’s childhood hero disappointed them as much as I am now? ? 😢😭 https://t.co/p17klqYdCp
Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, funded primarily by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The first LIV Golf Invitational is scheduled for June 9-11 at Centurion Golf Club outside London, with a field of 48 players competing for a US$20 million purse over 54 holes. The winner receives $4 million – golf’s richest prize to date – and the last place finisher receives $120,000.