Credible Evidence Links Saudi’s MBS to Khashoggi Murder: UN Expert

The UN special rapporteur recommended investigation into the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Bin Salman’s role.

Updated19 Jun 2019, 11:04 AM IST
2 min read

An independent UN human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday, 19 June, recommended an investigation into the possible role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing "credible evidence."

The 101-page report released by Agnes Callamard into the October killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul calls on UN bodies or Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to "demand" a follow-up criminal investigation.

Callamard noted the "extreme sensitivity" of considering the criminal responsibility of the Crown Prince, as well as Saud Alqahtani, a senior adviser to the Saudi royal court who has not been charged.

“No conclusion is made as to guilt, the only conclusion made is that there is credible evidence meriting further investigation, by a proper authority, as to whether the threshold of criminal responsibility has been met.”
Agnes Callamard, UN Human Rights Expert

She wrote that there was "no reason why sanctions should not be applied against the Crown Prince and his personal assets" — noting that sanctions regimes have been put in place in the past even before guilt was determined.

But she played down the focus on a single person, writing: "The search for justice and accountability is not singularly dependent on finding a 'smoking gun' or the person holding it."

She wrote that her focus was mainly on identifying those who may have failed in or abused their positions of authority.

Eleven people are on trial in Saudi Arabia in largely secret proceedings, and five could face the death penalty.

Callamard wrote that she obtained access to a recording of the killing on 2 October. She said she had received information about a "financial package" offered to Khashoggi's children, "but it is questionable whether such a package amounts to compensation under international human rights law."

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Published: 19 Jun 2019, 11:00 AM IST
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