UN rights investigator to issue report on Khashoggi killing

Agnes Callamard will issue her report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday.

    UN rights investigator to issue report on Khashoggi killing
    Agnes Callamard is the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [Karim Kadim/AP]

    UN extrajudicial executions investigator, Agnes Callamard, is set to release her report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday.

    Callamard, who has led an international inquiry into Khashoggi's killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October, said after a visit to Turkey this year that the evidence pointed to a brutal crime "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials.

    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.

    Her report is expected to include recommendations on criminal accountability of both states and individuals.

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    The CIA and some Western countries believe Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince's policies and Washington Post columnist.

    Saudi officials deny these suspicions.

    Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi operatives on October 2 provoked widespread revulsion and marred the image of the crown prince, who was previously lauded for advancing changes in the conservative kingdom including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive.

    Callamard has denounced the lack of transparency at the kingdom's secretive hearings for 11 suspects accused in the murder.

    She has called on Saudi authorities to reveal the defendants' names, the charges against them and the fate of 10 others initially arrested.

    US President Donald Trump's administration said it was pressing its close Middle East ally Saudi Arabia to show "tangible progress" towards holding to account those behind the Khashoggi killing.

    Washington wants the Saudis to do so before the one-year anniversary of his murder, a senior administration official said last week.

    The report is set to be released online at 10:00 GMT on Wednesday on the website of the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

    Callamard is due to present it on June 26 to the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 member states include Saudi Arabia.

    The French national is also director of the Global Freedom of Expression initiative at Columbia University in New York.

    SOURCE: News agencies