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UN Expert to Lead International Inquiry Into Khashoggi Murder

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2015, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. A pro-government Turkish newspaper on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 published a gruesome recounting of the alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, just as America's top diplomat arrived in the country for talks over the Washington Post columnist's disappearance. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions said on Thursday she will travel to Turkey next week to head an “independent international inquiry’’ into the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, provoking an international outcry.

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Tayyip Erdogan said it was time for an international investigation and that Erdogan had ordered preparations to be made.

“I will be heading an independent international inquiry into the killing of Khashoggi, commencing with a visit to Turkey from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3,” independent UN Investigator, Agnes Callamard, said.

Callamard said that she would evaluate the circumstances of the crime, and “the nature and the extent of states’ and individuals’ responsibilities for the killing”.

“My findings and recommendations will be reported to the UN Human Rights Council at the June 2019 session,” she said.

There was no immediate word on what other experts would take part in the investigation or whether they had sought access to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi public prosecutor’s spokesman said in 2018 that 21 Saudis were taken into custody in relation to the case, 11 of whom have been indicted and referred to trial.

Earlier this month the prosecutor said it was seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 detained suspects.

Callamard, a French academic, who is director of the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Department at Columbia University in New York, reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and has a global mandate to investigate executions.

 

 

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