UN has credible evidence linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi murder

A UN rights expert has cited "credible evidence" concluding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be investigated over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Iran Press/Middle East: Khashoggi's death "constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible," the UN extrajudicial executions investigator Agnes Callamard said in her long-anticipated report, released on Wednesday.

Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi operatives in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, provoked widespread revulsion and marred the image of the crown prince, Al Jazeera reported.

Related News:

Bin Salman's bodyguard killed critic journalist: Turkish newspaper

The report cites audio from inside the consulate, recorded just minutes before Khashoggi entered.

Khashoggi's remains have not been found but Callamard has said that she and her team of forensic and legal experts had access to a part of "chilling and gruesome audio materials" of his death obtained by the Turkish intelligence agency.

In the audio, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a close aide to bin Salman, asked whether it will "be possible to put the trunk in a bag?"

In response, Salah Mohammed Abdah Tubaigy, a well-known Saudi forensics doctor, replied "No. Too heavy," after which he expressed hope that Khashoggi's killing would "be easy". 

"Joints will be separated. It is not a problem. The body is heavy. First time I cut on the ground. If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished. We will wrap each of them," Tubaigy said in the recording, adding: "Leather bags".

There was a reference to cutting skin, according to the report.

Tubaigy also expressed concerns that his direct manager was not aware of what he was doing. "There is nobody to protect me." At the end of the conversation, Mutreb asked whether "the sacrificial animal" has arrived.

At 13:13 local Istanbul time, a voice said "he has arrived", the report said. In these recordings heard by the special rapporteur, Khashoggi's name was not mentioned.

Callamard said she had "determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi Officials' individual liability, including the crown prince's."

There was no immediate reaction from Riyadh which was sent the 100-page report in advance.

The report also said that Saudi Arabia must apologize to Turkey for "abuse of diplomatic privileges".

Callamard in her report confirmed earlier findings after a visit to Turkey this year that the evidence pointed to a brutal crime "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials. 101/214

Read More:

EU continue to call for Khashoggi's murder investigation

Amnesty International urges UN probe into Khashoggi's murder

Erdogan: People close to Saudi crown prince behind murder of Khashoggi