"Horrifying things have been reported and I am horrified. But I have to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners of the world and with many governments. And when I visit a country, I always speak my mind, you know me, I do. So at this point in time, my intention is to not change my plan and to be very attentive to the information that is coming up in the next few days," Lagarde told reporters when asked about her upcoming trip to Riyadh.
Khashoggi, who has been working for The Washington Post newspaper and has been known for his criticism of Saudi authorities, went missing in Turkey on October 2. According to his fiancee, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul and never came out. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Turkish authorities had shared with the United States audio and video recordings suggesting the journalist had been murdered in the Saudi consulate.
On Friday, media reported that the conference's high-profile media sponsors, including the Financial Times, CNBC, The New York Times, CNN and Bloomberg, decided to withdraw from the event in the wake of Khashoggi alleged murder.
Saudi Arabia has denied all allegations, saying that the journalist went missing after he had left the consulate and that Riyadh was assisting the Turkish authorities in their efforts to locate the journalist. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia allowed the Turkish authorities to search the consulate building.