Ankara, 19 June 2019 (Anadolu News)
The U.S. said Wednesday it is “closely” appraising a UN report that said the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was an extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia is responsible.
“We are reviewing the report closely,” a State Department spokesman told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. “The United States supports UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s global mission to investigate extra-judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.”
Officials from the State Department met with Callamard “at her request” to discuss matters that included Khashoggi’s killing, the spokesman said.
“We are determined to press for accountability for every person who was responsible,” he added.
In the report, Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said she found “credible evidence” to further probe Saudi officials’ individual liability in the Khashoggi killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, including Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
President Donald Trump and his top officials, however, have sought to shield bin Salman from responsibility for Khashoggi’s grisly murder last October, insisting Saudi Arabia is a critical ally.
“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a statement.
“If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake,” he added.
Among its other recommendations, the UN’s report calls for the FBI and UN secretary general to launch criminal investigations into the murder of Khashoggi, who was a U.S. resident.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday lashed out at the murderers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed in the Kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last fall.
“[They will] pay the price and be held accountable,” he said, following release of a UN report earlier today which held Saudi Arabia responsible in the murder case.
Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Erdogan said that the report proved that Saudi Arabia was guilty and had prior knowledge of the murder.
Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur, said in the report that she had found “credible evidence” to further probe Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for the journalist’s killing.
Saudi Arabia has so far rejected the report.
Khashoggi, a contributor for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul last October.
Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building, seeking to blame his death on a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.
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