UN Investigator Calls Khashoggi Murder an International Crime

Published: 21 June 2019

 Jamal Khashoggi (April Brady / POMED) Jamal Khashoggi (April Brady / POMED)

By Samuel Trilling

The UN investigator assigned to review Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey held on Wednesday Saudi Arabia responsible for actions she called an ‘international crime’ and is expected to deliver her 100-page report to the UN next week.

Agnes Callamard, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on executions, did not point fingers at individuals in the preliminary investigation but made sure to request another investigation to assign guilt.

“I call on an international criminal investigation to determine individual liabilities and to identify the best possible mechanisms for the delivery of this accountability,” Callamard said. 

Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post contributor who was originally from Saudi Arabia. He was killed as he entered the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey on October 2nd. News of his death caused an uproar around the world.

“The evidence suggests that the murder was premeditated and that the direction from superiors was to kill Mr. Khashoggi, at the very least if he would not agree to return (to Saudi Arabia),” Callamard said.

Turkish intelligence leaks after the incident accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of facilitating the murder along with other high-ranking officials.

The United States Senate passed a resolution, based on the leaked evidence, condemning the Crown Prince and assigning responsibility to him. President Trump then avoided placing blame on bin Salman, saying that the US needs "to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia." 

The US did respond over a month later with sanctions on 17 Saudis who were allegedly at the consulate, while Saudi Arabia announced that it would seek the death penalty for five people they claim conducted the killing.

On Thursday the Senate passed a resolution attempting to block President Trump’s use of emergency powers to push a Saudi arms deal through, but the President is expected to veto the bill.