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Saudi Khashoggi investigation fails to name who ordered murder: UN expert

United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard delivers her report of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 26, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

A senior United Nations official says the investigation that Saudi Arabia carried out into the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October has failed to examine who ordered the killing and ignored the primary suspects.

UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key adviser, and other senior officials should be investigated over the premeditated murder.

“The inquiry, which was a human rights inquiry, not a criminal investigation, has found credible evidence, warranting further investigation, of high-level Saudi officials' individual liability, including that of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and his key adviser (Saud) Qahtani,” Callamard pointed out. “The investigation carried out by the Saudi authorities has failed to address the chain of command."

“The prosecutor in a public statement has recognized that one particular person, Saud al-Qahtani, incited the mission before it departed, calling Mr Khashoggi 'a national threat', and yet this particular individual has not been indicted,”  the UN special rapporteur commented, noting that  a total of 15 Saudis were involved in the killing.

Ambassador Walter Stevens, Permanent Representative of the European Union to the United Nations, said those responsible must be held to account and called on Saudi Arabia to disclose all information available and to fully cooperate with all investigations into the murder.

“I want to know who gave the order to kill Jamal and who else knew. I want to know where his body is. Those who are behind the murder and cover-up should face punishment,” Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish writer and Khashoggi's fiancée, told the Council.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi crown prince, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of his fate, but later blamed the murder on rogue agents.

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