Jamal Khashoggi: UN to release report on murder of Saudi journalist


Agnes Callamard, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, will issue her investigative report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday.

The report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 members include Saudi Arabia, on June 26.

Callamard has led an international inquiry into Khashoggi’s alleged murder in the Saudi consulate In Istanbul. Her probe aims to assess “the nature and extent of States’and individuals’responsibilities for the killing.”

Her report is expected to include recommendations on criminal accountability of both states and individuals.

Agnes Callamard has criticized Saudi authorities for blocking the investigation

Callamard criticized Saudi authorities for blocking the investigation

After a visit to Turkey in February, Callamard said that Turkish investigators were hampered in their investigation of Khashoggi’s killing in Istanbul.

“Evidence collected during my mission to Turkey shows (a) prima facie case that Mr Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia,” Callamard said.

The UN investigator said that her team could not find Khashoggi’s remains but they did have access to a part of “chilling and gruesome audio materials” that were obtained by Turkish authorities.

Read more: Khashoggi killers received training in the United States — report

‘Lack of transparency’

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, was killed on October 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He had been living in exile in the US and was picking up paperwork ahead of his marriage.

His murder sparked international outcry. Saudi Arabia initially denying that he had been killed and US intelligence officials, among others, accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of direct involvement in the murder.

Read more: From Badawi to Khashoggi: Freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia

Following the murder, Turkish media published photos showing individuals from Salman’s inner circle at the Istanbul consulate where Khashoggi was later murdered. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Khashoggi’s murder reached the top levels of the Saudi government.

In January, Saudi authorities opened the murder trial in Riyadh, with the state prosecution announcing it would seek death sentences for five of the 11 suspects.

Turkish officials sought to have the Saudi suspects extradited to Turkey to stand trial there, but Saudi Arabia repeatedly turned down the requests.

UN’s extrajudicial executions investigator Callamard has denounced the lack of transparency at the kingdom’s Khashoggi murder trial.

shs/rt  (Reuters, AFP)

Every evening, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.