Authorities in Saudi Arabia claim that the people behind the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been “brought to justice,” yet refused to provide details over who was responsible.
Khashoggi, who worked as a columnist for the Washington Post, was a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and was subsequently murdered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last October.
Speaking at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, the head of the kingdom’s Human Rights Commission Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban said the country was “horrified” by the 60-year-old’s murder,
“We are indeed horrified by what has happened pursuant to this unfortunate accident and we have taken those measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime,” Aiban declared.
However, he refused to release further details around those charged with the crime, as most analysts believe that the Saudi government was behind the murder. Last week, 36 Western countries, including all 28 members of the European Union, called on the kingdom to cooperate with a U.N.-led investigation into the incident, a request Saudi Arabia has rejected.
“Justice in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia operates pursuant to international law and it does so in all transparency,” Aiban continued. “What is being conveyed by certain media regarding the need for us to internationalize some of these matters is something we do not accept because such demands amount to interference in our domestic affairs and in our domestic judicial system.”
Last month, U.N. human rights expert Agnes Callamard claimed that Khashoggi was murdered in a “brutal and premeditated killing” carried out by Saudi officials close to Prince Salman himself.
‘Turkey’s efforts to apply prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent investigations – in line with international law – had been seriously curtailed and undermined by Saudi Arabia,” she concluded. “Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation.”