TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A UN expert has found “credible evidence” that shows Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other high-level officials are responsible for killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia should be investigated over the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi because there is “credible evidence” that he and other senior officials are liable for the killing, according to a damning and forensic UN report, The Guardian reported.
In an excoriating 100-page analysis published on Wednesday of what happened to Khashoggi last October, Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur, says the death of the journalist was “an international crime”.
“It is the conclusion of the special rapporteur that Mr Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law,” she says.
Using recordings of conversations from inside the Istanbul consulate where Khashoggi was killed, her report pieces together his last moments, and how he was confronted by a Saudi officials , one of whom said: “We are coming to get you.”
When Khashoggi refused to cooperate, a struggle can be heard, including heavy panting. The special rapporteur’s report concludes: “Assessments of the recordings by intelligence officers in Turkey and other countries suggest that Mr Khashoggi could have been injected with a sedative and then suffocated using a plastic bag.”
The findings will heap pressure on bin Salman to explain what he knew about the murder of Khashoggi.
The kingdom has previously described it as a rogue operation that the heir to the throne knew nothing about.
That is not the view of the special rapporteur’s report.
Khashoggi, 59, was killed when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last year. One of the region’s most important journalistic voices, he considered journalism within, about and for the region to be vital, the special raporteur states.
The report describes how he went to the consulate by appointment, to obtain papers he needed to pave the way for his marriage to his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
Saudi Arabia had been trying to get him to return from the US, where he worked as a journalist for the Washington Post, but he feared for his safety.
The report relies on recordings of conversations within the consulate in the days prior to his death, which show how a team of Saudi officials flew from Riyadh to Istanbul to kill him.
The special rapporteur’s report adds: “Mr Khashoggi’s execution is emblematic of a global pattern of targeted killing of, and threats against, journalists and media workers that is regularly denounced by states, UN agencies, special procedures, and by numerous international and national human rights organizations.”