Open FBI investigation into Khashoggi’s killing: UN Rapporteur to the United States

A UN report has indicted the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for not doing enough to save the life of Jamal Khashoggi and recommends that they take responsibility

Jamal Khashoggi.
Jamal Khashoggi.

NH Web Desk

In a 99 page report made public on Wednesday, Agnes Callamard meticulously recorded evidence that formed credible grounds to suspect Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian journalist-dissident-and a US resident, was victim of a pre-meditated murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

But the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial executions for the UN Human Rights Agency has also put the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States in a tight spot by recommending that they take responsibility for the pre-meditated killing and the cover-up.

The Special Rapporteur urged the US to start an FBI investigation into the execution of Khashoggi and pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States. She has also recommended that the US determine the responsibility of the Saudi Crown Prince and declare how this was determined.

The UN Rapporteur also recommended a Congressional Hearing to determine the responsibility of high-level Saudi officials and also release all relevant material relating to the murder of Mr Khashoggi, including intercepts, public.

The Rapporteur recommended that Saudi Arabia should accept state responsibility for the murder and tender an apology to Mr Khashoggi’s family, friends and colleagues for his execution. Besides apologising to Turkey for abusing diplomatic privileges and to the United States for executing a US resident, Saudi Arabia should also ensure financial reparation for Mr Khashoggi’s family. It should also undertake to abolish death penalty, the report recommends.

Other recommendations to Saudi Arabia included in the report are as follows:

• Demonstrate non-repetition by releasing all individuals imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their opinion and belief; independently investigating all allegations of torture and lethal use of force in formal and informal places of detention; and independently investigating all allegations of enforced disappearances and making public the whereabouts of individuals disappeared.

• Undertake an in-depth assessment of the actors, institutions and circumstances that made it possible for the execution of Mr. Khashoggi to be carried forward, issue public report and identify the reforms required to ensure non-repetition.

• Suspend current trial; collaborate with and support UN-led additional criminal investigation and implement decisions regarding the location and structure of a future trial with fair trial guarantees under international law.

• Reply exhaustively to the UNESCO Director-General’s request for information on the steps taken in response to Mr. Khashoggi’s execution, in accordance with the decisions on the safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity, adopted by the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication.

After initially denying the execution, Saudi Arabia admitted that Mr Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the consulate in Istanbul. Eleven Saudi nationals are undergoing a trial in camera but there is no information yet about how they disposed the body of the killed journalist.

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