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Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, announced on Thursday that there was prima facie evidence that the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in October was planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia. Callamard was in Turkey investigate the murder from January 28 to February 3.

There were several indications that a significant amount of planning occurred before Khashoggi’s murder. This includes the travel of three teams that committed the murder, as well as the subsequent escape of those team members. The presence of a Mr. Khashoggi look-a-like and a forensic doctor also show additional planning. The location of Khashoggi’s remains still have not been disclosed by Saudi Arabia, despite Saudi Arabia admitting that Khashoggi was killed in their custody.

Callamard criticized the amount of time it took before Turkish officials were allowed to investigate the crime scene. The murder took place on October 2, and investigators were not given access to the consulate until October 15. Turkish officials were given “woefully inadequate time and access” to the crime scene.

Turkey is calling for the extradition of 11 suspects related to the murder, and is seeking Interpol international arrest warrants for 20 individuals. Saudi Arabia is currently prosecuting 11 individuals for the murder. However, the is a lack of public information available for the trials, including the names of the 11 individuals being prosecuted.  Callamard will be continuing the investigation into the murder. Callamard has requested a visit to Saudi Arabia to gain insights from the country on the killing. The final report is expected to be available in June. Read more

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