Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 20

Jamal Khashoggi: All you need to know

about Saudi journalist's death


On 2 October, Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi
government, walked into the country's consulate in Istanbul, where he was
murdered.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said that Khashoggi was killed inside the building
on the orders of an intelligence officer.

Turkish officials however say they have evidence, including gruesome audio recordings,
that the journalist was killed by a team of Saudi agents on orders that came from the
highest levels.

The steady stream of disturbing allegations, along with the complex diplomatic situation,
means that it can be difficult to keep track of the full story.

So here is what we know about the case.

Who was Jamal Khashoggi?

As a prominent journalist, he covered major stories including the Soviet invasion of


Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden for various Saudi news organisations.

For decades, he was close to the Saudi royal family and also served as an adviser to
the government.

But he fell out of favour and went into self-imposed exile in the US last year. From there,
he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post in which he criticised the policies of
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
 Who was Jamal Khashoggi?

In his first column for the newspaper, Khashoggi said he feared being arrested in an
apparent crackdown on dissent overseen by the prince since he became first in line to
succeed his father King Salman.

"The people being arrested are not even being dissidents, they just have an
independent mind," he told the BBC's Newshour programme three days before he
disappeared.
 You can read excerpts from some of his columns here.
Why was he at the consulate?

He first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain a document


certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée.

But he was told he would have to return and arranged to come back on 2 October.

"He did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil," his fiancée,
Hatice Cengiz, wrote in the Washington Post.

"Jamal was hardly concerned ahead of his second visit."


 The journalist who vanished into a consulate

He was seen on CCTV arriving at 13:14 local time for his appointment, which was
scheduled for 13:30.

He reportedly told friends that he had been treated "very warmly" on his first visit and
reassured them that he would not face any problems.

Despite this, he gave Ms Cengiz two mobile phones and told her to call an adviser to
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not come back out.

She ultimately waited for more than 10 hours outside the consulate and returned the
following morning when Khashoggi had still not reappeared.

What does Saudi Arabia say?

For more than two weeks Saudi Arabia consistently denied any knowledge of
Khashoggi's fate.

Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg News that the journalist had left the consulate "after
a few minutes or one hour".

"We have nothing to hide," he added.

Prince Mohammed's brother and the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khaled bin
Salman, claimed all reports about his disappearance or death were "completely false
and baseless".
 Who is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
 Did Apple Watch record Khashoggi killing?
 Why Saudi Arabia matters to the West

But in the early hours of 20 October, state television reported the journalist had in fact
died in the consulate after a fight.
It later said that Khashoggi had been murdered in a "rogue operation" and vowed to
punish "those responsible".

A Saudi official told Reuters news agency at the time that Khashoggi had died in a
chokehold after resisting attempts to return him to Saudi Arabia. His body was then
rolled in a rug and given to a local "co-operator" to be disposed of. A Saudi operative
then reportedly donned his clothes and left the premises.

The authorities announced the arrest of 18 Saudi nationals and dismissal of two senior
officials - deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aide
to Prince Mohammed.

Saudi King Salman also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by the
crown prince, to restructure the intelligence services in the wake of the initial inquiry.

Two days later, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir described the killing as "murder", telling
Fox News "a tremendous mistake" had been made. He denied that the crown prince
had ordered the killing.

On 25 October, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor was quoted in state media as saying
Khashoggi's murder was "premeditated".

The prosecutor's account came after investigations by a joint Saudi-Turkish task force,
broadcaster al-Ekhbariya said.

Then, at a news conference on 15 November, the Saudi public prosecutor said that
Khashoggi was given a lethal injection after a struggle and his body was dismembered
inside the consulate after his death.

The body parts were then handed over to a local "collaborator" outside the grounds, he
added.

Eleven people have been charged over the journalist's death and the prosecutor is
seeking the death penalty for five of them, although none of those officially charged
have been identified.

What does Turkey say happened to him?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says there is evidence that the "savage" killing was
planned days in advance.

He says three teams of 15 Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul before the murder and
that the group had removed the security cameras and surveillance footage from the
consulate building prior to Khashoggi's arrival.
On 31 October, Turkey gave its first official statement on how it believes Khashoggi was
killed, saying he was immediately strangled and his body was dismembered.

Unnamed Turkish officials previously told the media he had been tortured first.

The reports said Turkey had audio and video recordings of the killing, without saying
how they had been obtained. President Erdogan has not mentioned them.

Turkey's pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak quotes sources as saying that the
Saudi consul general can be heard on one tape warning the alleged agents: "Do this
outside. You're going to get me in trouble."

"Shut up if you want to live when you return to [Saudi] Arabia," a person can reportedly
be heard telling the diplomat on another tape.

On 10 November, Mr Erdogan said Turkey had given the recordings to Saudi Arabia,
the US, the UK, Germany and France.

"They listened to the conversations which took place here, they know", he said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later said intelligence agents in his country had
heard the recordings. No other country has so far admitted this.

Who are the alleged Saudi agents?

One of the men, Maher Mutreb, served as a colonel in Saudi intelligence and was
based at the country's embassy in London, the BBC understands.
Four of the men have links to the Saudi crown prince and another is a senior figure in the
country's interior ministry, reports say.

Turkish officials believe the men are Saudi officials and intelligence officers, an
allegation that appears to be supported by open-source information that is freely
available.

They say the group brought a bone saw into the country and that one of its members
was a doctor who specialised in post-mortems.

Nine of the agents reportedly arrived on a private jet from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at
about 03:15 on the day Khashoggi visited the consulate.

The rest of the suspected agents are reported to have arrived later that day on a second
private jet or on commercial flights. The group then checked into two hotels near the
consulate building.

CCTV footage broadcast by Turkish TV appears to show groups of Saudi men entering
the country via Istanbul airport and then checking into the hotels.
 Who's who in alleged Saudi 'hit squad'

It also shows vehicles driving up to the consulate an hour before Khashoggi's visit,
including black vans thought to be central to inquiries.

One of the vans is reported to have taken some of the men from the consulate to the
nearby residence of the Saudi consul about two hours after Khashoggi's arrival.

The group then left the country on the two private jets that flew to Riyadh via Cairo and
Dubai, according to investigators.

How did 2 October unfold?

This is the timeline of events, according to Turkish media.


03:28: The first private jet carrying suspected Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport.
05:05: The group is seen checking into two hotels near the Saudi consulate building.
12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles are filmed arriving at the consulate, allegedly carrying
some of the Saudi agents.
13:14: Khashoggi enters the building.
15:08: Vehicles leave the consulate and are filmed arriving at the nearby Saudi consul's
residence.
17:15: A second private jet carrying a number of suspected Saudi officials lands in
Istanbul.
17:33: Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is seen on CCTV waiting outside the
consulate.
18:20: One of the private jets departs from Istanbul airport. The other plane leaves at
21:00.

How is the Turkish investigation progressing?

Turkish police were allowed to enter the Saudi consulate on 15 October, shortly after
Saudi officials and a group of cleaners were seen entering the building.

Turkish police have now searched the consulate and the nearby Saudi consul's
residence, and have taken samples away for DNA testing.

The police have also searched the nearby Belgrad forest and farmland in Yalova
because it is believed at least two vehicles from the Saudi consulate headed in that
direction on the day of the suspected killing.

More than a dozen Turkish nationals employed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul,
including receptionists, technicians, accountants and a driver, have been questioned by
prosecutors.
King Salman and President Erdogan have agreed to exchange information and co-
operate in the investigation.

But there is still no sign of the body.

HRW: Turkey should


internationalise Khashoggi case
to the UN
Rights group urges formal request to the UN to push
for an international probe into Saudi journalist's
grisly murder.
MORE ON JAMAL KHASHOGGI

 Cengiz: No normal person could imagine such 'horrific' crimetoday


 Saudis rule out extraditing Khashoggi murder suspects to Turkeytoday
 Can the Gulf Cooperation Council survive?today
 Nikki Haley says US 'can't give Saudi a pass' on Khashoggi murdertoday
Turkey should submit a formal request to UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres to conduct an independent international probe into the killing of
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights Watch said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has come under increasing
scrutiny with many publicly accusing him of complicity in the assassination.

"An international investigation under the authority of the secretary-general


will have the mandate, credibility and stature to press officials, witnesses and
suspects in Saudi Arabia to cooperate with requests for facts and information
about the murder that occurred in Istanbul on 2 October 2018," the rights
group said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The investigation, the statement continued, would cut through attempts


intended to protect Saudi officials and muddle the truth.

Turkish officials have made public statements in support of such an inquiry,


but have yet to formally request one.
"The Turkish government should make good on its call for an international
investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death by formalising it with an official
letter to the secretary-general," Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director
at Human Rights Watch, said.

US senators introduce resolution


blaming MBS for Khashoggi murder
(2:08)

"A UN investigation has the best chance of pushing Saudi Arabia to provide
the needed facts and information about Mohammed bin Salman's precise role
in this murder - information that is available only from sources in Saudi
Arabia," she added.

Precedent
The oil-rich kingdom has maintained that Prince Mohammed, or MBS as he is
also known, had no prior knowledge of the murder.

However, after a closed-door briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel earlier this
week, top US senators have said there was "zero chance" MBS wasn't
involved in Khashoggi's killing.

Guterres previously said he would conduct an international inquiry into


Khashoggi's murder if he received a formal request from the Turkish
government.

Three prominent experts from the UN - Bernard Duhaime, David Kaye and
Agnes Callamard - have called for an "independent and international
investigation". The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Michelle Bachelet has also repeatedly called for an international probe into the
murder.

Human Rights Watch said there were precedents for conducting international
investigations.

In 2008, Pakistan asked former secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to probe the


assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Earlier in 2018,
Britain resorted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) to confirm the findings of British authorities that a Soviet-made
nerve agent was used in the English city of Salisbury against a former Russian
spy.

Only an international court can bring Khashoggi’s killers to justice

Geoffrey Robertson

he slaying of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a barbaric act, ordered and carried out by
barbarians. It cried out for justice – which means, inevitably, a trial. Yet all the British
government is demanding is an “investigation” – by the same Saudi state that spent 17 days
lying about its responsibility and is still offering unbelievable excuses for the murder. Any Saudi
investigation would, at most, offer up a few scapegoats who would be subjected to a secretive
procedure and in reality punished for their incompetence rather than their guilt.

But this was an international crime that took place in breach of United Nations conventions in
the precincts of a consulate enjoying inviolability under international law. It involved the
silencing of a US-based journalist for exercising the right of freedom of speech – a right also
belonging to all his potential readers, and guaranteed under every international human rights
convention. It was an action by a UN member state that threatens peace and security and it
should be taken up by the UN security council, which has acted before to set up tribunals to
deal with similar atrocities – the assassination of the Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, for
example, and the Lockerbie bombing.

Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers

Read more

President Erdoğan has called for a trial of the suspects – most obviously, the 15-strong hit
squad – to take place in Turkey. That would be reasonable were it not for the fact that Erdoğan
himself has emasculated Turkey’s legal system by sacking so many judges, imprisoning lawyers
and using the courts to persecute his own journalist critics. Moreover, any trial in Turkey would
run into evidential problems resulting from the inviolability of the consulate, an issue that need
not trouble an international court set up by the security council. And even if Saudi Arabia were
prepared to extradite a few of the killers to Turkey, they would be schooled and rehearsed and
forbidden (even if they knew) from identifying the men who gave the orders.

There are enough precedents for the security council, under its chapter VII power, to act so as
to avoid international conflict, to set up a court to research and punish the carefully planned
assassination of a journalist in a member state by agents of another member state. There are
plenty of experienced judges available who have dealt with atrocities in the Balkans, Rwanda
and Sierra Leone, and prosecutors well qualified for mounting cases of international crimes. The
Turkish authorities have ample evidence against the immediate perpetrators and western and
Israeli intelligence agencies can undoubtedly supplement what is already known about the
Saudi chain of command.

Jamal Khashoggi: murder in the consulate

Read more

Continuing pressure from the security council and orders by the court, backed by sanctions
against powerful Saudis (preventing them from travelling to Europe or using schools and health
services), trade boycotts and sanctions, and threats of diplomatic isolation, could force the
Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to send suspects to The Hague, as it forced
Gaddafi to cooperate over Lockerbie, and to disclose evidence that, when analysed together
with other evidence, might lead a chief prosecutor to include him in the charge sheet – at least
as an “unindicted co-conspirator”. Only an international legal process can establish with any
credibility whether Bin Salman actually gave the lethal order, or perhaps said in the manner of
King Henry II: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Advertisement

Realpolitik – as Jeremy Hunt has hinted and Donald Trump has megaphoned – dictates that
Saudi Arabia is too important to be pushed too far because of its oil wealth, its arms purchases
and its intelligence about terrorists. The most disgraceful moment for British justice came when
our highest court yielded to demands from the Blair government to drop the bribery case
against BAE and its high ranking Saudi recipients. The crown prince himself may be too big to
jail, but the only prospect of getting at the truth about this hideous event will come from the
establishment of an international court.

• Geoffrey Robertson QC is author of Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice
How international law could be used to prosecute Khashoggi's killers

After weeks of lies and misdirection, Saudi Arabia has finally admitted that Jamal Khashoggi
died inside its consulate in Istanbul. The truth, however, is yet to emerge from the fog of deceit.
There can be very few people in the around the world who will accept the Saudi explanation
that a fist fight broke out, resulting in Jamal Khashoggi’s death.

The rest of the world still demands answers and the overwhelming evidence points to a
deliberate, gruesome premeditated killing. The allegations of torture, and the butchery of
Khashoggi’s body, are particularly shocking. Even more so if – as many commentators believe –
they were deliberately ordered by the state.

A barbaric assassination and dismemberment which the Saudis have attempted to cloak in the
shroud of their embassy and diplomatic immunity? Those crimes would rank amongst the very
worst perpetrated in a diplomatic mission in modern times, with the use of diplomatic premises
a terrifying development, indicating that Saudi Arabia has no regard for international law.

This case shows the legal crossroads that the international community has reached. A perfect
storm of politics and law colliding means decisions as to what to do next are fraught
with problems.

Promoted stories

Brazil's revelation of 2018, Pedro targets Selecao returnGoal

8 top tipples to serve this Christmas

4 Healthy Smoothie Recipes To Make On The Gowww.bleubloom.com

by Taboola

Promoted Links

There are legal remedies available to Khashoggi’s fiancee though international bodies, but most
of the legal consequences can be dealt with by Turkey. The question is how far Saudi Arabia will
cooperate and how far Turkey will really want to push this issue. It is only if Turkey fails that
others will take up the torch.
There are a host of legal measures that could be used bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mohammed bin Salman may be untouchable inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and
practically speaking any punishment meted out to him will come from within Saudi Arabia.
However, international mechanisms can also be brought to bear upon the Saudi government.

Human rights groups have already called upon the United Nations to intercede and conduct a
fair and transparent investigation. There are already a number of UN instruments, such as the
Working Group on Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur for non-judicial executions, who
might launch investigations and reports.

While UN findings may not immediately appear to be the most robust of responses to this
apparent outrage, Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi regime have demonstrated
consistently that they are sensitive to outside criticism, as evidenced by the severing of
diplomatic ties with Canada. Any UN finding critical of bin Salman and Saudi Arabia would be a
significant blow to their prestige.

The hit squad itself must also now become a legal target. The US enacted its global Magnitsky
Act in 2016, enabling the US government to impose sanctions after human rights abuses by
government officials around the world. They could stop any of the men gaining visas to travel to
the US and ask for support from the EU. This would drastically reduce the movement of its
targets and cause significant financial hardship.

Personal sanctions could be instituted against the men and perhaps broader sanctions
restricting trade between Saudi Arabia and the West.

Many countries, including the UK, subscribe to the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, enabling
the UK to bring charges and try individuals accused of committing serious crimes such as
torture and crimes against humanity in domestic courts. Many of the alleged hit squad have
now been named. Investigating those individuals, and the bringing of charges, would send a
serious message that the British government is willing to uphold international law and human
rights.

In the meantime, those individuals would be restricted in travel and would face arrest if they
ever tried to come to the United Kingdom.

There is also the question of extradition. Turkey could ask for the extradition of the death
squad and the Saudi consular officials who have now fled. There is no extradition treaty
between Saudi Arabia and Turkey (or, for that matter, the UK) – but that does not necessarily
prevent extradition. It would be rare but not unprecedented for an ad hoc agreement to be
signed to extradite the men. A recent example of this was the attempt to extradite Rwandans
accused of war crimes from the UK to Rwanda.
The Vienna Convention governs diplomatic immunity but does not allow murder and torture to
take place on foreign soil; that would be a deliberate manipulation of international law. The
punishment is political rather than legal as ambassadors can be withdrawn, diplomatic ties
downgraded and financial sanctions imposed.

The Turkish prosecutors have the power to prosecute the death squad for murder, kidnapping
and torture – but the question is whether Riyadh will cooperate by surrendering the
individuals. The finely balanced politics make that outcome unlikely.

The UK’s response has been strong in condemning the actions of Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, it
should go further. We should seek to sanction the men responsible and be ready to prosecute
them should they ever come to the UK.

Ben Keith and Rhys Davies are barristers who specialise in international law

MBS Says the Saudi Consulate in Turkey Is 'Sovereign Territory.' He's Wrong.

Play Video

By BILLY PERRIGO

October 19, 2018

As speculation grew about the fate of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after
entering his nation’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin
Salman was quick to dispel rumors he had been murdered.

“We have nothing to hide,” the de-facto Saudi leader, known by his initials MBS, said three days
later. “The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow [Turkish authorities] to enter.”

On one thing at least, the Crown Prince was mistaken — consulates and embassies are not, in
fact, sovereign territory under international law.

“He is incorrect,” says Dapo Akande, a professor of public international law at the University of
Oxford. “As a matter of international law that’s absolutely clear, the consulate is not within the
sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.”

The Brief Newsletter

Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample

SIGN UP NOW
Whatever happened to Khashoggi, he says, “is an event that happened within Turkish territory
to which Turkish law applies.”

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the 1961 Vienna Convention, which sets out the
rules governing consulates and embassies, guarantees the “inviolability” of diplomatic
premises.

“That means the host state can’t just go in without the consent of the state whose consulate it
is,” says Akande. That’s why Turkish authorities had to wait for Saudi permission to enter. (In
the end, they were finally allowed in on Monday, ten days after MBS’s guarantee.)

Yet while the principle of inviolability guarantees some measure of protection to consulates, it
does not mean that events that take place there are not subject to the host country’s own laws.

“If Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in Istanbul, then that’s murder under the laws of
Turkey,” says Akande. “Anybody can in principle be prosecuted for that murder. Unless that
individual also has immunity.”

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal protection given to diplomats serving in foreign


countries, ensuring they cannot be prosecuted under their host country’s laws. But diplomatic
personnel are individually granted immunity under agreement by both Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

If, as reports suggest, Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives flown in specifically for the
act, they would not enjoy the same immunities as consular staff might. “Those people were like
a death squad who just turned up on private jets,” says Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed, the
editor of Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia. “That’s not somebody
with diplomatic immunity.”

In theory, this means that Khashoggi’s alleged killers could be prosecuted in Turkey. “Turkey
could seek an international arrest warrant for them,” Akande says. “If they’re Saudi, Saudi
Arabia won’t turn them over. But they probably won’t be able to go anywhere else.”

But even if they did have diplomatic immunity, it doesn’t shield perpetrators of major crimes.
The Vienna Convention says immunity can be annulled in the case of a “grave crime” pending
the decision of a “competent judicial authority.”

That might be the next step for the international community. Rights groups including Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch called on the U.N. on Thursday to open an independent
investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“My own view is that the issue is beyond any debate or discussion as to whether international
law is on MBS’s side,” says professor Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East
Studies at the University of Denver. “It’s pretty clear the circumstantial evidence points to the
murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and now Saudi Arabia has to account for the crime.”

Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com.

MBS Says the Saudi Consulate in Turkey Is 'Sovereign Territory.' He's Wrong

As speculation grew about the fate of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after
entering his nation’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin
Salman was quick to dispel rumors he had been murdered.

“We have nothing to hide,” the de-facto Saudi leader, known by his initials MBS, said three days
later. “The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow [Turkish authorities] to enter.”

On one thing at least, the Crown Prince was mistaken — consulates and embassies are not, in
fact, sovereign territory under international law.

“He is incorrect,” says Dapo Akande, a professor of public international law at the University of
Oxford. “As a matter of international law that’s absolutely clear, the consulate is not within the
sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.”

The Brief Newsletter

Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample

SIGN UP NOW

Whatever happened to Khashoggi, he says, “is an event that happened within Turkish territory
to which Turkish law applies.”

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the 1961 Vienna Convention, which sets out the
rules governing consulates and embassies, guarantees the “inviolability” of diplomatic
premises.

“That means the host state can’t just go in without the consent of the state whose consulate it
is,” says Akande. That’s why Turkish authorities had to wait for Saudi permission to enter. (In
the end, they were finally allowed in on Monday, ten days after MBS’s guarantee.)

Yet while the principle of inviolability guarantees some measure of protection to consulates, it
does not mean that events that take place there are not subject to the host country’s own laws.
“If Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in Istanbul, then that’s murder under the laws of
Turkey,” says Akande. “Anybody can in principle be prosecuted for that murder. Unless that
individual also has immunity.”

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal protection given to diplomats serving in foreign


countries, ensuring they cannot be prosecuted under their host country’s laws. But diplomatic
personnel are individually granted immunity under agreement by both Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

If, as reports suggest, Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives flown in specifically for the
act, they would not enjoy the same immunities as consular staff might. “Those people were like
a death squad who just turned up on private jets,” says Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed, the
editor of Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia. “That’s not somebody
with diplomatic immunity.”

In theory, this means that Khashoggi’s alleged killers could be prosecuted in Turkey. “Turkey
could seek an international arrest warrant for them,” Akande says. “If they’re Saudi, Saudi
Arabia won’t turn them over. But they probably won’t be able to go anywhere else.”

But even if they did have diplomatic immunity, it doesn’t shield perpetrators of major crimes.
The Vienna Convention says immunity can be annulled in the case of a “grave crime” pending
the decision of a “competent judicial authority.”

That might be the next step for the international community. Rights groups including Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch called on the U.N. on Thursday to open an independent
investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“My own view is that the issue is beyond any debate or discussion as to whether international
law is on MBS’s side,” says professor Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East
Studies at the University of Denver. “It’s pretty clear the circumstantial evidence points to the
murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and now Saudi Arabia has to account for the crime.”

Khashoggi murder violated international law: Pompeo

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul was a
violation of international law, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

"It's an awful thing that took place," Pompeo told conservative talk show host Brian Kilmeade.

"The killing, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Turkey violates the norms
of international law. That much is very, very clear," he said.
But the top US diplomat nonetheless stressed that he wanted to preserve the decades-old
alliance with Saudi Arabia and declined explicitly to criticise Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman [MbS], who has been consolidating power.

His remarks came as Turkey's chief prosecutor said that Khashoggi, a critic of the palace who
lived in self-imposed exile in suburban Washington, was strangled as soon as he entered the
Istanbul consulate, with his body then dismembered.

Pompeo, who was not asked directly about the Turkish findings, said the United States "won't
rely on others" but would "develop our fact pattern" based on information it receives.

Pompeo said last week that the United States had identified 21 Saudis whose visas would either
be revoked or who would be ineligible for future visas and said that more action would come.

But President Donald Trump has ruled out major actions such as ending arms sales to the
kingdom, the largest foreign buyer of US weapons.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, to complete
paperwork.

Saudi Arabia initially claimed that he left the consulate building alive, before saying a team of
spies killed Khashoggi, without the knowledge of MbS.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects who Riyadh claims are being detained in
Saudi Arabia over the killing of Khashoggi.

Turkey is also calling for Saudi Arabia to reveal where the location of Khashoggi's body, with
Riyadh claiming a local disposed of his remains.

President Tayyip Recep Erdogan has called for Saudi Arabia to disclose identity of an alleged
local collaborator.

But a Turkish source told a news agency that Saudi Arabia has not been cooperating on the
issue.

"The Saudi officials seemed primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish
authorities had against the perpetrators," the official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

Khashoggi’s death has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia and
its powerful crown prince. The journalist's fiancee has accused the regime of a massive cover-
up.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab


Saudis shield crown prince as death penalty sought over Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia says it will pursue the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and
carrying out the killing of the Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, in the latest effort to distance the
country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from the grisly murder.

The Saudi public prosecutor claimed Saudi agents, including the head of forensics at the
national intelligence service and members of Prince Mohammed’s security detail, had orders to
abduct Khashoggi but decided to kill him when he resisted.

The claim had been contradicted by an earlier Saudi finding that the murder was premeditated.

Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers

Read more

Prince Mohammed was not implicated in the murder, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

An intelligence officer was responsible for ordering the murder, the public prosecutor’s office
said, and Khashoggi was given a lethal injection after a struggle with the extradition team inside
the consulate.

Turkey has been formally asked to hand over audio tapes that allegedly capture the journalist’s
death, he added.

Hours later, the US Treasury said it was imposing sanctions against 17 alleged conspirators, in
an announcement that appeared timed to support the Saudi version of events. The Trump
administration has attempted to shield Prince Mohammed from blame, and sponsored the
theory that “rogue actors” had carried out the plot without his knowledge.

FacebookTwitterPinterest

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: the Saudi public prosecutor said he had not been
implicated in Jamal Kashoggi’s murder. Photograph: Reuters
The announcements follow growing international outcry over the killing of Khashoggi, a
Washington Post columnist last seen entering the consulate on 2 October to obtain paperwork
for his marriage.

Almost seven weeks later, who ordered the exiled journalist’s death remains central to the
scandal. Turkey believes approval was given by Prince Mohammed himself, and has continued
its efforts to isolate the designated heir to the throne through a damning drip-feed of evidence
that has placed the conspiracy at the doors of the royal court.

On Thursday Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, described the Saudi statement as
insufficient and insisted the killing had been premeditated. “The necessary equipment and
people were previously brought in to kill and later dismember him,” he said.

Crown Prince’s wings clipped as Khashoggi death rattles Riyadh

Read more

Saudi prosecutors say 21 of its officials have been indicted – including the 15-man hit team as
well as crews alleged to have carried out reconnaissance before the murder.

Ankara and Riyadh have been conducting a joint investigation into Khashoggi’s death. However,
Turkish officials accuse their Saudi counterparts of stonewalling on the whereabouts of his
body, and sending a forensic team disguised as investigators, who, rather than investigating the
murder, attempted to scrub the consulate of Khashoggi’s DNA.

Sheikh Shalan al-Shalan, Saudi Arabia’s deputy attorney general, claimed on Thursday that the
murder was ordered by one man who had been tasked with kidnapping Khashoggi, rather than
killing him. He said the kidnap attempt quickly turned violent “so he decided to kill him in the
moment”.

Advertisement

The claim that the death was not premeditated is at odds with earlier versions of events
endorsed by Saudi officials. Turkey says it has audio recordings that prove Khashoggi was
strangled and then dismembered within minutes of entering the consulate. A search for his
remains in a forest near Istanbul has been unsuccessful. However, biological evidence of the
murder is understood to have been found at the nearby consul general’s residence.
Investigators are working on the assumption that a second phase of the murder operation was
carried out in the garage of the official residence, where Khashoggi’s body parts were dissolved
in acid and poured down drains and into a garden well.

Turkey is yet to publicly reveal full transcripts of the audio tapes it says depict the killing, or
divulge how the recordings were made. However, they have been widely shared with allied
intelligence agencies and even played to a Saudi agent, according to President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan, who is leading the diplomatic offensive against Prince Mohammed.

Erdoğan has said the order to murder Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi
government. The former head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, has described Saudi claims that Prince
Mohammed was unaware of the murder plot as “blatant fiction”.

The US, meanwhile, remains wedded to its ties with Prince Mohammed, whom it sees as a
pivotal ally in the region both as a bulwark against Iran and an outreach to Israel. Trade ties are
also central to the considerations of Donald Trump, whose son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has
formed a close relationship with the crown prince.

On Thursday night Republican and Democratic US senators introduced legislation seeking to


strike back at Riyadh over the killing and for its role in Yemen’s devastating civil war. If it were
to become law, the bill would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit US refuelling
of Saudi coalition aircraft. Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, said the sanctions announced earlier were not enough to ensure a
credible investigation of Khashoggi’s death.

Global condemnation that has followed Khashoggi’s murder has diminished Prince Mohammed
in the eyes of other international partners. The fallout poses the greatest threat to the kingdom
since the 9/11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

The US national security adviser, John Bolton, said earlier this week that nothing on the tapes
incriminated the crown prince. Turkey has hinted that separate, as yet undisclosed material it is
holding brings the killing to the doorstep of the royal court. Saud al-Qahtani, Prince
Mohammed’s most influential domestic aide, has been forced to leave amid accusations of
organising the hit squad against Khashoggi. The crown prince’s critics, and even some loyalists
inside the kingdom, say it is inconceivable that such an operation could have been ordered
without his authority.

Khashoggi had become an influential critic of some aspects of Prince Mohammed’s reform
programme in the last 18 months of his life, during which he lived in exile mainly in Washington
DC. An insider turned outsider, he had used his Washington Post column to pen pointed
critiques and political observations that made him one of the Arab world’s most influential
pundits.

He had been an advocate of political Islam, which is viewed by Saudi Arabiaand the United Arab
Emirates as a subversive threat, and had defied overtures from al-Qahtani to return to Riyadh.

Additional reporting by Bethan McKernan