The United Nations' preliminary observations of the human rights inquiry into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi says it was a "brutal, premeditated killing - planned and perpetrated by Saudi Arabian officials". The findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, Agnes Callamard, follow a weeklong trip to Turkey with a team of experts to examine the evidence. Her initial conclusion is that Saudi Arabia "seriously undermined" Turkey's efforts to access the crime scene and investigate the murder at the Istanbul consulate. Callamard has requested an official visit to Riyadh and expressed "major concerns" about fairness for the 11 suspects on trial for the murder.
With support from the fiancée of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings called for an international investigation into his death on Wednesday, excoriating the United Nations for its "paralysis" and Saudi Arabia for its handling of the case. Presenting the conclusions of her five-month investigation to the Human Rights Council, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations expert, said that Mr. Khashoggi was killed last year in an operation that was carefully planned and endorsed by high-level Saudi officials. Saudi Arabia had taken some measures to investigate the crime but had failed to address the chain of command, Ms. Callamard said, including the possible role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who American intelligence officials have concluded ordered the killing. "A U.N. criminal investigation is essential in order for these central questions to be addressed," she said. Saudi officials have denied that the crown prince had any involvement in the killing.
Dr. Callamard said that she would evaluate the circumstances of the crime, and "the nature and the extent of states' and individuals' responsibilities for the killing." "My findings and recommendations will be reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council at the June 2019 session," she said. There was no immediate word on what other experts would take part in the investigation or whether they had sought access to Saudi Arabia. A Saudi public prosecutor's spokesman said last year that 21 Saudis were taken into custody in relation to the case, 11 of whom have been indicted and referred to trial. Earlier this month the prosecutor said it was seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 detained suspects.