Saudi kingdom pursuing justice in Khashoggi murder, says official

Elias Hubbard
March 15, 2019

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, provoking an global outcry.

The notice makes the suspects, all of whom are Saudi citizens, liable to provisional arrest anywhere in the world.

Saudia Arabia's uncooperative approach has been consistent since Khashoggi was murdered.

Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, Dr.al-Aiban said "we are horrified at Khashoggi killing" and that it was a "heinous crime" and an "unfortunate accident".

On Thursday, Aiban said the suspects had faced three hearings so far in Saudi Arabia with their lawyers present. " While not naming any names, he said that 11 Saudi citizens had been indicted for the "heinous crime" a year ago". He gave no names or details.

Fahrettin Altun, communications director for the Turkish presidency, criticised Aiban's comments, saying Turkey was "deeply concerned" by his objection to an global investigation into Khashoggi's murder.

"Justice in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia operates pursuant to global law and it does so in all transparency, " al-Aiban told the forum, right before adding that the Kingdom would not accept any "foreign interference" in its "domestic affairs or judicial system".

The State Department noted that in the past, Saudi Arabia did not punish officials accused of committing human rights abuses.

His killing in October caused tensions to soar between the US and Saudi Arabia, with members of Congress saying they believed the crown prince was behind the operation, an allegation the Saudi government has denied.

They also condemned Khashoggi's murder "in the strongest possible terms".

Agnes Callamard, UN investigator on extrajudicial executions, said that Saudi officials have not responded to requests to cooperate with her investigation into the murder.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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