By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– At the University of Denver there is a concern over the disappearance and suspected murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

READ MORE: Victims Identified In Colorado Springs Mass Shooting At Birthday Party

In Washington, DC in April, Khashoggi gave a talk on why the Arab World needs democracy.

Jamal Khashoggi (credit: Nader Hashemi)

DU was a co-sponsor of the conference at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.

Nader Hashemi, the director of the DU center for Middle Eastern studies met Khashoggi there as he was honored.

(credit: CBS)

“We had no idea when we gave Jamal this award we had no idea he would become the focus of a global crisis that would bring the United States in in a very important way,” said Hashemi.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Nader Hashemi (credit: CBS)

Khashoggi vanished Oct. 2 during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and Turkish officials have claimed Saudi agents killed and dismembered the Washington Post columnist.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Douglas County Commissioners Approve Resolution Defying Indoor Face Mask Mandate

(credit: CBS)

Hashemi suspects the journalist was ordered killed by Saudi authorities, “To send a message to other people that we have long arms to silence you. if we can do it to a Washington Post columnist be careful, we can go after you.”

(credit: CBS)

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner told CBS4’s partners at KOA Radio Wednesday morning that if true, this will bring punishment.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

“This will create significant sanctions, impose significant sanctions. Look we need more facts, we need more information but right now it does not look good for what actions Saudi Arabia may have participated in,” said Gardner.

Nader Hashemi (credit: CBS)

The University of Denver now plans to publish a transcript of Khashoggi’s talk at the conference.

Jamal Khashoggi (credit: Nader Hashemi)

“Even though he has been killed we want to make sure his ideas are still alive,” said Hashemi.

MORE NEWS: David Torrez Gets 45 Years After Shooting Estranged Wife's Companion 7 Times

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.