Evidence suggests Saudi Prince is liable for Khashoggi murder: UN expert
Evidence suggests Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials are liable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.N. rights investigator said on June 19.
There was no immediate reaction from Riyadh which was sent the 100-page report in advance - but the kingdom has regularly denied accusations that the prince was involved.
Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, called for countries to widen sanctions to include the Crown Prince and his personal assets, until and unless he can prove he has no responsibility.
Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding.
His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found.
"It is the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law," Callamard said in her report based on a six-month investigation.
Callamard went to Turkey earlier this year with a team of forensic and legal experts and said she received evidence from Turkish authorities.
"There is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials' individual liability, including the Crown Prince's", she said.
"Indeed, this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the Crown Prince demanding further investigation," she added, urging U.N. Secretary-General to establish an international probe.
Saudi Arabia also imposed severe limitations on the Turkish investigation by giving Turkish investigators limited access both in time and the areas they were able to access. For instance, the Turkish investigation had access to the consulate on Oct. 15 for only six hours and the consul's residence on Oct. 17 for 13 hours in which their forensic enquiries were limited to only swabbing.
Urging the kingdom to apologize to Turkey for "the abuse of its diplomatic privileges and the violation of the prohibition against extra territorial use of force," the report also prompted further investigations by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the FBI.
The rapporteur also learned that Khashoggi's children were offered a financial compensation package by the Saudi government, but there were questions whether it amounts to compensation under international human rights law.
Turkey supports UN call
Turkey strongly supports the U.N. report urging an according to Turkey's foreign minister.
"Strongly endorse U.N. Rapporteur Agnes Callamard's recommendations for elucidating Khashoggi's murder & holding those responsible accountable," Mevlüt
Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.