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Khashoggi murder: Saudi undermined Turkey probe, claims UN rights expert

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2

AP | PTI  |  Geneva 

Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

A UN human rights expert said Thursday that undermined Turkey's efforts to investigate the death of Jamal Khashoggi, which she described as a "brutal and premeditated killing" planned and carried out by Saudi officials.

Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made her assessment Thursday after visiting

Khashoggi, a who wrote critically about Saudi Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the in Istanbul on October 2. His remains have not been found.

During its January 28-February 3 trip to Turkey, Callamard's four-member team met with the foreign and justice ministers, the country's leading the case.

Callamard concluded that "Turkey's efforts to apply prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent investigations in line with law had been seriously curtailed and undermined by Saudi Arabia," the U.N. human rights office in said in a statement.

"Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by standards for investigation," Callamard said.

Evidence collected during the trip indicates "that Mr was the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia," she said. She did not point to any

Callamard's team was given access to parts of the audio material obtained by on Khashoggi's killing, but was "not able to undertake a deep technical examination of this material" and didn't have an opportunity to authenticate it independently.

The statement said the team wasn't able to carry out some other inquiries, such as meeting forensic and crime scene experts involved, "largely, but not only, due to time constraints." Callamard plans to present her final report to the in June.

Turkish officials have been frustrated by what they say is a lack of cooperation by and have called for an inquiry.

After denying was killed in the consulate for several weeks, indicted 11 people in the killing and is seeking the death penalty against five of them.

says must reveal the identity of a person who is thought to have disposed of the journalist's body and hold all involved accountable.

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 00:35 IST