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UN expert: Khashoggi killing planned by Saudis

February 7, 2019

Turkish investigators were hampered in their investigation of Jamal Khashoggi's killing in Istanbul, a UN investigator has reported. A group of NGOs lamented the lack of accountability for the journalist's murder.

Poster of Jamal Khashoggi
Image: Getty Images/AFP/Y. Akgul

The UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, did not hold back on her remarks at the end of a visit to Turkey on Thursday.

"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.

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October last year. He had previously written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Agnes Callamard with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara
Agnes Callamard with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara Image: pictur-alliance/AP Photo/Turkish Foreign Ministry/C. Ozdel

Callamard also criticized the Saudi authorities for blocking the investigation. She said in a statement that "woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation." Her full report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June.

NGOs call for accountability

A group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) issued a statement on Thursday saying they were "deeply concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability relating to the murder of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi as well as with respect to Saudi Arabia's persecution of other journalists and dissidents."

The NGOs, which include US-based Human Rights Watch, cited a Washington Post report last November that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had concluded bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi's assassination. A US presidential determination and report is due to be provided no later than Friday.

jm/ng (AP, AFP)

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