Holyrood ditches Saudi deal over journalist death

The government said concerns following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October were behind the decision. Picture: Johnny Green/PA Wire
The government said concerns following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October were behind the decision. Picture: Johnny Green/PA Wire
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The Scottish Government has scrapped plans to appoint an energy specialist to help boost exports to Saudi Arabia.

The government said concerns following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2 were behind the decision.

Saudi Arabia said on Friday that Mr Khashoggi was killed at its Istanbul consulate after a fight broke out.

The UK’s Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the Gulf kingdom’s explanation for the death of the dissident journalist is “not credible”.

The Scottish Government announced plans earlier this month to appoint five new in-market energy specialists in countries seen as having significant growth opportunities for energy supply chain exports from Scotland.

The were to be based in the US, Mexico, India, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia but recruitment for the Saudi post will now not go ahead.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We share the widespread international concern following the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and in light of those concerns Scottish Development International will not be proceeding with this particular appointment.”

The proposed appointments for the other countries will proceed as planned and are being jointly funded by the Scottish government, Scottish Development International and Opportunity North East.