‘Credible evidence’ linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi murder, says UN expert
There is “credible evidence” linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a UN expert said Wednesday, calling for sanctions on the prince’s personal foreign assets.
The allegation regarding Prince Mohammed’s possible direct role in Kashoggi’s execution last October was detailed in a new report by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard.
Callamard, an independent human rights expert who does not speak for the United Nations, also called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to initiate a formal criminal investigation into the case.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Prince Mohammed, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of his fate. It later blamed the murder inside the consulate on rogue agents.
Saudi prosecutors have absolved the crown prince of responsibility.
But Callamard said her inquiry had “determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi Officials’ individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s”.
The UN expert noted that international sanctions issued so far in response to Khashoggi’s killing “simply fail to address the central questions of chain of command and of senior leadership’s responsibilities for and associated with the execution”.
Given “the credible evidence into the responsibilities of the Crown Prince for his murder, such sanctions ought also to include the Crown Prince and his personal assets abroad, until and unless evidence is provided and corroborated that he carries no responsibilities for this execution,” she added.