Jamal Khashoggi murder: Saudi Arabia’s secretive trial violates human rights law, says UN investigator

New York [US]: Saudi Arabia’s secretive hearing for 11 suspects accused in the murder of Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s is the “violations of human rights law”, said a United Nations human rights expert on Thursday (local times).

Agnes Callamard, who leads an international inquiry into the killing of the journalist, also said that the trail “did not satisfy” the United Nations in terms of “procedural fairness under international standards”. “The Government of Saudi Arabia is grievously mistaken if it believes that these proceedings, as currently constituted, will satisfy the international community, either in terms of procedural fairness under international standards or in terms of the validity of their conclusions,” said Callamard.

“They risk being participants in a potential miscarriage of justice, possibly complicit should it be shown that the trials are marred by violations of human rights law,” she added. Reportedly, Saud al-Qahtani, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s special aid, who was sacked over the Khasshogi’s murder, is not among 11 suspects. Khashoggi was killed on October 2 last year at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. His body is yet to be recovered.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had apprised the Congress, “President Trump has made it very clear. We will continue to work to identify those responsible for Mr Khashoggi’s murder and hold them accountable. I stand by that today.” After presenting several contradictory theories, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate premises in what the country’s then Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had described as a “rogue operation”.

According to the US intelligence agencies, the murder of Khashoggi was enacted upon orders by the Saudi Crown Prince. However, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly rejected all the allegations against its Crown Prince, adding that it is committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

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