UN request Khashoggi — President Donald Trump has rejected a UN request for the FBI to investigate the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a report published last week had found that high officials of the Saudi government, including the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, were well aware of the plan to kill the man.
Saudi Arabia thought it was over with the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, but the publication by a UN expert of a report implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the death of the Saudi journalist has put the pressure back on the kingdom.
In a 101-page report released Wednesday in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard holds Saudi Arabia “responsible” for Khashoggi’s “extrajudicial execution,” which was brutally killed in October inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.
The recommends an additional investigation as well as sanctions against Prince Mohammed, nicknamed MBS, whose image was heavily tarnished after the murder that caused an uproar in the world.
Ryad rejected the report, which puts the case back at the center of world news as pressure grows on its Western allies to stop their arms sales to the kingdom.
These revelations, which include retranscriptions of plans in which the journalist is described as “animal to be sacrificed”, may also reinforce the anti-Saudi sentiment in the US Congress, even if MBS has the support of Donald Trump.
“A new crisis cycle has just opened up,” analyst Joseph Bahout of the US think tank Carnegie Endowment wrote on Twitter. “And with him a new episode of international embarrassment for Saudi Arabia”.
On Thursday, Britain announced that it was suspending the allocation to Ryad of new arms sales contracts that could be used in the war in Yemen, after a decision of the London Court of Appeal found them non-compliant to the right.
This week, US lawmakers have once again attempted to block the sale of $ 8.1 billion worth of weapons to Ryad and his Gulf allies.
Last month, President Trump overrode the conventional procedure, which requires congressional approval, citing the risk posed by Iran.
Although the Callamard report did not provide definitive evidence linking Prince Mohamed to the murder, he found it “inconceivable” that he could have been held without his knowledge.
The text quotes Turkish wiretaps in which the dismemberment of the journalist is evoked, even before he enters the Saudi Arabian consulate where he was killed. His body has still not been found.
The report adds that the crime scene was “carefully cleaned” after the murder.
Saudi Arabia has brought charges against eleven suspects, which it has not identified, but the report estimates that a team of 15 men arrived in Istanbul in two private jets for this mission, which therefore required “coordination, government resources and finances “.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the report was filled with “obvious contradictions” and “unfounded allegations”. He added that diplomats from the permanent members of the Security Council, as well as Turkey, were allowed to attend the trial of the 11 accused in this case.
President Trump has long refused to condemn Saudi Arabia for the Murder. “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” the President on the allegations made against the Saudi Prince. “It’s about make America great again, it’s about America first,” he added. “We’re going to stay with Saudi Arabia.”