Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

Fiance of Slain Journalist Khashoggi Calls for Global Criminal Probe

Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiance is urging the U.N. Human Rights Council to investigate his killing after a new report concluded Saudi Arabia is responsible.

Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish citizen, said Tuesday on the sidelines at the Human Rights Council there is "an urgent need" for an international criminal probe into Khasshoggi's "premeditated murder."

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and U.S. resident, was killed October 2 while at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his wedding. He wrote a monthly column for the Post in which he criticized the policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Cengiz's appeal came after Wednesday's release of a report by United Nations extrajudicial executions investigator Agnes Callamard. Her report found "credible evidence" linking Crown Prince Mohammed to the killing.

Callamard called on U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch a probe into Khashoggi's murder, saying at the council event "the world cannot afford to turn a blind eye."

The Saudi Kingdom initially said it was unaware of the murder but later blamed it on rogue agents, while Saudi prosecutors cleared the crown prince of any responsibility.

Cengiz was waiting outside the consulate while Khashoggi was murdered inside. She said she is still struggling to recover from her fiance's death, noting Khashoggi's body has not been found.

"Since I couldn't see his body, I still had hope, like, is he really constrained somewhere ...is he alive,? she said.

A global criminal probe into the case would reconfirm "the legitimacy of the United Nations," Cengiz added.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) concluded in November the crown prince had ordered Khashoggi's murder. But U.S. President Trump declined Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" to say whether he would hold Saudi leaders accountable. Trump declared, however, it would be beneficial for the U.S. to "take their money."

Source: Voice of America

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