The special rapporteur appointed as an independent investigator by the UN has released her findings, that those who planned, orchestrated, and committed the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi previously in Istanbul are “high enough to represent the Saudi state.”
These remarks were made on Thursday, by Ms. Agnes Callamard who is the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions. She spoke to reporters at the location of the UN headquarters in NYC.
She also noted that Khashoggi was the victim of an “extrajudicial execution” carried out by the Saudi state, something came as a surprise to few by the time of the announcement. Previously, the KSA has come forward and accepted responsibility for the murder.
Callamard said however that she didn’t need to know who was linked to the crime in order to conclude it was an “extrajudicial execution,” but noted that it still remains unclear how high up the order to kill Khashoggi went. Nevertheless, based on what she knows, it is high enough to constitute a state-sanctioned killing.
The UN investigator also reiterated an earlier call for an independent probe to “validate” the findings of investigations being carried out by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
In similar comments on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal he wanted to believe the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he said that lower level officials were to blame for the killing at the Saudi mission.
But he suggested responsibility lay higher up. “Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him,” Trump said.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said Thursday a joint Saudi-Turkish investigation shows that Khashoggi’s murder was “premeditated,” dismissing an earlier account that the dissident journalist had died in a botched operation to “negotiate” his return to the kingdom.
“Information from the Turkish side affirms that the suspects in Khashoggi’s case premeditated their crime,” said a statement from the Saudi public prosecutor.
Riyadh’s alleged role in the assassination of Khashoggi has sparked global condemnation in recent days, prompting dozens of firms and officials from across the world to suspend their deals with the kingdom and boycott a Saudi Arabian investor conference.