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UN special rapporteur presents report on Khashoggi murder, calls for international investigation


United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, who presented her special report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday, called for an international investigation into the alleged killing, adding that the Saudi probe into the matter has failed to examine who may have ordered it.
"The investigation carried out by the Saudi authorities has failed to address the chain of command," Al Jazeera quoted Callamard while addressing the UN Human Rights Council.
Presenting the conclusions of her five-month investigation, Callamard said that Khashoggi was killed last year in an operation that was carefully planned and endorsed by high-level Saudi officials, The New York Times reported.
"A U.N. criminal investigation is essential in order for these central questions to be addressed," she said, including the possible role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who American intelligence officials have concluded ordered the killing.
However, Saudi officials have denied that the crown prince had any involvement in the killing.
Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, further urged United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, to use his influence to garner support for an international investigation.
"I want to know who ordered the killing of Jamal and who else knew," she said.
"I want to know where is his body," Cengiz added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdulaziz Alwasil, rejected the call for an inquiry and accused Callamard of abusing her mandate.
He said her report was based on prejudice, bias and "noncredible articles or sources," adding, "We reject any attempt to remove this from our national justice system."
Callamard stressed the judicial proceedings that begun in Saudi Arabia were riddled with flaws and contradictions. Fifteen Saudi agents carried out the operation targeting Khashoggi, she said, but only 11 were on trial and they had not been identified.
She noted that a close adviser to MBS, Saud al-Qahtani, had been identified by intelligence officials as a ringleader operation, yet so far Saudi prosecutors have not indicted him.
Saudi Arabia had not conducted its investigation of the killing in good faith, Callamard said. Her report found that a team of 17 Saudi officials had access to the consulate for 10 days before Turkish investigators were allowed in for six hours.
"There is only one conclusion to reach, which is the crime scene was cleaned," she said.
"This is not a domestic matter," she added.

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First Published: Jun 27 2019 | 6:30 AM IST

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