Saudi minister talks about human rights, declines comments on Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi (Photo Credit: The Independent)
Jamal Khashoggi (Photo Credit: The Independent)

A Saudi minister told the United Nations on Wednesday it would cooperate with its human rights mechanisms. He, however, did not explicitly refer to a UN-led inquiry into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Agnes Callamard, a UN investigator on extra-judicial executions, said after a mission to Turkey this month that evidence pointed to a brutal murder “planned and perpetrated” by Saudi officials.

However, her final report is due in June.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi, a critic and Washington Post columnist.

They say his body was dismembered and removed to a location still publicly unknown.

His murder in the Saudi Istanbul consulate on October 2 provoked widespread revulsion and tarnished the image of the Crown Prince, who previously was admired in the West for his reform efforts.

“We will also cooperate with the UN mechanisms related to human rights, including the Human Rights Council,” Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the Geneva forum.

Jubeir, asked twice by a Reuters reporter whether that meant the kingdom would cooperate with the Khashoggi investigation led by Callamard, declined to respond.

The Saudi public prosecutor’s spokesman said late 2018 that 11 Saudis had been indicted and referred for trial over the case, with authorities seeking the death penalty for five. (Reuters/NAN)

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