Khashoggi Murder "Planned And Perpetrated" By Saudi Officials: UN Expert

Saul Bowman
February 9, 2019

Congressional leaders triggered the Magnitsky Act in October, giving the administration 120 days, until February 8, to report back on who was responsible for the death of Khashoggi, a US resident killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and whether it would impose sanctions on that person or persons.

Callamard also said she asked for an official visit to Saudi Arabia and said she had "major concerns" about the fairness of the legal process for the 11 people facing trial for the journalist's murder.

A statement issued by the United Nations on the gruesome killing of the former Washington Post columnist revealed that Saudi Arabia "seriously undermined" Turkey's efforts to investigate the issue at its consulate in Istanbul, along with stopping Saudi officials from meeting with the United Nations official.

There are separate photographs of Khashoggi meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is believed to have ordered his murder.

While the NSA declined to comment to the New York Times on the matter, Aldakhil called the claims outlined by the newspaper "categorically false".

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who is leading an global human rights inquiry into the murder, visited Turkey between 28 January and 3 February.

Khashoggi's body has still not been recovered.

The Saudi minister said that the kingdom's judiciary will hold accountable those involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

With pressure mounting in Washington and Riyadh, the United States president theoretically had until the end of the day to designate those responsible for the murder of the Washington Post columnist, who was strangled and dismembered by Saudi agents in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Al Jazeera reported that Callamard had heard recordings of Khashoggi's last moments.

"Over the past four months, the Saudi authorities have been less than forthcoming in their dealings with their Turkish counterparts and the worldwide community", Mr Altun said. "It requires a determination and report in response to the letter we sent with (former Foreign Relations Chairman Bob) Corker". The state of Saudi vehemently denies any involvement of the Crown Prince in the murder, instead blaming "rogue elements" who had acted of their own accord.

The prosecutor has said authorities were seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 indicted suspects.

Suggesting that Congress was holding Saudi Arabia to a higher standard than other countries, Jubeir said, "You've had so many journalists murdered in the a year ago, are they going to legislate sanctions against all countries in which journalists have been killed?"

"I wish this report will accelerate the process so that more concrete things will be done on this situation", Cengiz said.

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