UN calls for international role on Khashoggi inquiry

The United Nations human rights agency has called for international experts to be involved in an independent investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with access to evidence and witnesses.

The agency’s spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, also urged Saudi Arabia to reveal the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body, saying that a forensic examination and autopsy were crucial elements in an investigation into the “shockingly brazen crime” carried out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Shamdasani also said that it would be inadequate for Saudi Arabia alone to investigate given the country itself revealed the murder of the journalist had been planned and high-level officials were involved.

Asked to comment on the way Turkey had been revealing information on Khashoggi case, Shamdasani said that international involvement would also prevent any concern of a political use of the case.

Riyadh at first denied any knowledge of, or role in Khashoggi’s disappearance but then Saudi prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb said the killing of the journalist, a critic of de facto ruler Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was premeditated.

The case has put into focus Western countries’ close relationship with Saudi Arabia, a major arms buyer and lynchpin of Washington’s regional plans to contain Iran given the widespread scepticism over its initial response.

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