Saudi Arabia rejects the rapporteur's findings and her call for the kingdom’s accountability.
Rabat – In her report on the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in December last year, Agnes Callamard has provided a minute-by-minute account of the journalist’s execution and dismemberment inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. The report was released yesterday, June 19, prompting immediate backlash from Saudi authorities.
“Joints will be separated … If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished,” the report quotes one of the murder suspects, making for grim reading.
Hours after the report’s release, the Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir took to twitter to denounce the report, saying there is “nothing new” in Callamard’s findings.
“The report contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations, which challenges its credibility,” Jubeir said.
MeanwhileTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined the report’s findings on the Saudis “guilt”, noting that they had “knowledge” and have taken a “wrong” attitude towards Turkey.
“They will account for this and they will pay a price,” Erdogan said, rejecting Riyadh’s claim that the murder, which took place in Turkey, was a domestic affair.
At the end of her report, Callamard urged the office of the secretary-general (UNSG), to launch an international criminal investigation and called for sanctions against the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
After the release of Callamard’s investigation, a spokesman of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said that the UN chief could only launch an inquiry with authorization from “a competent intergovernmental body”.
The US administration seems hesitant to move against its Gulf ally Saudi Arabia due to ongoing confrontation with Iran.
Despite calling Khashoggi’s murder an “unacceptable and horrible crime”, US President Donald Trump has stressed that he intends “to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia,” the US ally against rival Iran. The policy supports the US administration’s wish to maintain Washington’s business and political interests in the region, including reported multi-billion-dollar arms sales.