UN Khashoggi investigator meets Istanbul chief prosecutor

International inquiry led by UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard seeks to establish who ordered Khashoggi's murder.

    UN Khashoggi investigator meets Istanbul chief prosecutor
    Callamard has asked Saudi authorities for access to its consulate in Istanbul to investigate [File: Jose Cabezas/Reuters]

    The UN human rights investigator leading the international inquiry into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is meeting Istanbul's chief prosecutor on Tuesday.

    Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, on a week-long visit to Turkey with a forensic and legal team, met Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu a day earlier.

    "We have made a request to the Saudi government for access to the consulate as well as meetings with Saudi authorities here. We're waiting for their response," Callamard told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

    "To be fair the request came to them quite late so we must give them time to process our request. We are respectfully asking the authorities to give us access at some stage." 

    Callamard said her report would be made public in time for the June session of the UN human rights council.

    "The report will be made public a few weeks before I present it to the human rights council in Geneva, so end of May possibly," she said.

    Khashoggi was murdered inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last year. 

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    US intelligence agencies believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to kill the Washington Post writer.

    Riyadh denies the powerful prince had any involvement, alleging "rogue" Saudi elements acted on their own accord.

    'No question'

    Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said the panel's investigation is expected to focus on establishing responsibility.

    He called for the CIA to share its intercepted recordings of the grisly killing.

    Roth told reporters at an event in Geneva on Monday that Callamard was trying to look at the question of authorisation.

    "There is no question that this was a Saudi government operation," he said.

    "But the government's line is that this was a rogue operation by people somehow who didn't have anything to do with the Saudi crown prince - even though a number of his close aides were intimately involved, and there was a well-reported call back to Riyadh to tell the boss that the deed was done.

    "So, what the special rapporteur is going to look at is what evidence is there to pinpoint the Saudi crown prince's responsibility."

    Crucial intercepts 

    Roth, who said he had spoken to Callamard last week, added: "The CIA has come out, apparently on the basis of intercepts, and said that the crown prince did order this murder. And the US Senate endorsed that finding.

    "I hope that the CIA will share those intercepts and that evidence with the special rapporteur. I think this is an important enough issue that it is time in some form to release them so that we can all see it. I know that the special rapporteur is pushing for that," Roth said.

    The gruesome murder has drawn attention to the Saudi government's detention and alleged mistreatment of Saudi activists, including women, and the bombing campaign by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, he said.

    "It is unfortunate it has taken the Khashoggi murder to galvanise people, but it did and that somehow woke people up to the nature of the Saudi government."

    What can an investigation into Khashoggi's murder achieve?

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    What can an investigation into Khashoggi's murder achieve?

    SOURCE: News agencies