UN expert: Investigate Saudi crown prince for journalist’s death
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/19/19, 11:32 am
There is “credible evidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have been responsible for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a United Nations investigator said Wednesday. Khashoggi, an opinion columnist for The Washington Post and a critic of the Saudi kingdom’s rulers, disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018, after visiting the Saudi Consulate to get papers for a planned wedding. Investigators believe a hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi inside the consulate. His remains have not been found.
The 101-page report by UN investigator Agnes Callamard, released after a five-month investigation, says the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible for the extrajudicial killing. “Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the crown prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched,” Callamard wrote in the report.
The report does not definitively conclude that the crown prince is guilty but calls for further investigation. The crown prince has denied any involvement in the killing, instead casting blame on rogue Saudi agents. The kingdom has identified 11 officials responsible in the killing and is holding trials, but the report notes that the secretive internal investigations may be attempts to obstruct justice. The report calls for other nations to impose sanctions on some of the top Saudi officials who may have been involved in the killing, including the crown prince. Saudi officials refused to cooperate with Callamard’s investigation.
Callamard will present her findings in a hearing before the Human Rights Council in Geneva next week.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.