'Credible Evidence': U.N. Points to Saudi Prince Role in Khashoggi Murder

'Credible Evidence': U.N. Points to Saudi Prince Role in Khashoggi Murder

Jamal Khashoggi, left, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

An independent United Nations human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is recommending an investigation into the possible role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing "credible evidence".

Mr Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on October 2, 2018, where he was obtaining papers for his forthcoming marriage.

"Joints will be separated", Tubaigy told Mutreb, according to Callamard's report. Turkish authorities had previously determined that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia quietly held a second court hearing early this year for 11 people facing charges in the country over the Khashoggi killing.

"There has been no demonstration that the state itself of Saudi Arabia has accepted its responsibility for the killing", she told reporters after the release of her 101-page report.

Next, the sounds of a struggle can be heard.

The report also details the steps Saudi agents took to cover up Khashoggi's killing.

"Evidence points to the 15-person mission to execute Mr. Khashoggi requiring significant government coordination, resources, and finances", Callamard wrote.

Saudi officials initially denied Khashoggi's killing at the consulate, saying he had left the premises. Khashoggi first visited the consulate about obtaining a marriage license for his upcoming nuptials with Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz on September 28, and officials told him he must return to the consulate on October 2. Endeavor returned a $400 million investment from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.

Khashoggi's remains have yet to be found, and-despite the evidence implicating top Saudi officials in the killing-the Trump administration has yet to blame the Saudi kingdom.

There was also "credible evidence pointing to the crime scenes (in Turkey) having been thoroughly, even forensically, cleaned". "These indicate that the Saudi investigation was not conducted in good faith, and that it may amount to obstructing justice".

In that context, "there is credible evidence warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials' individual liability, including the crown prince's", the report said.

The CIA concluded previously that the crown prince likely ordered Khashoggi's killing.

Callamard's report doesn't cite any evidence that US intelligence knew about the plot to lure Khashoggi to the consulate, where investigators believe a hit team ambushed and tortured him. "Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the crown prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched".

Callamard found "no evidence" that the Central Intelligence Agency knew about threats to Khashoggi's life before his death.

"No conclusion is made as to guilt", she wrote of the two men.

The sanctions, focusing on his personal assets overseas, should remain in place "until and unless evidence has been produced that he bears no responsibility for the execution of Mr Khashoggi", the reports said. "Academic research on Saudi Arabia tends to suggest that the level of control exerted by the Crown Prince over the management of the country's political, security and economic affairs is extremely high". Khashoggi's name was never mentioned.

Trials in Saudi Arabia can be shrouded in secrecy, she noted, insisting that Khashoggi case should be open to public scrutiny.

Airing concerns about the Saudi judicial process, Callamard called for a suspension of the trial.

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