World

UN sleuth to ‘never give up’ on Khashoggi probe

Agnes Callamard says she is still investigating top-level Saudis over murder of journalist in Istanbul consulate

James Reinl   | 25.10.2019
UN sleuth to ‘never give up’ on Khashoggi probe

UNITED NATIONS

The UN investigator on Jamal Khashoggi says she will “never give up” on her ongoing probe into the murder of the Saudi journalist and criticized those heading to Saudi Arabia for a business meet next week.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said her investigation into the top levels of the Saudi government had not finished yet and that justice would ultimately be achieved.

“I am pursuing a couple of leads, that I will not detail now, so the investigation is an ongoing investigation,” Callamard told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Friday.

“If a well known Washington Post journalist like Mr Khashoggi could be killed, and there is no price paid for that killing, that is sending such a wrong message. And, for that reason, I’m never going to give up on keeping being an annoyance.”

A Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct 2, 2018. His body was never recovered.

In a report in May, Callamard concluded it was a “deliberate, premeditated execution,” and called for Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to be investigated. Saudi officials describe a rogue operation that did not involve the prince.

In her remarks on Friday, Callamard said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who called for accountability in Khashoggi’s murder but took no action himself, should have done more to identify whether bin Salman ordered the assassination.

“I deeply regret that the secretary-general, or other institutions within the UN, did not take this opportunity to push further our understanding of [the] chain of command and our commitment to tackle the chain of command. I think it's a real pity,” said Callamard.

Callamard also urged participants to think twice about taking part in the Oct. 29-31 Future Investment Initiative, a business forum in the Ritz Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and a meeting of the G20 major world economies, in the same city in November 2020.

*Writing by Servet Gunerigok

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