The United Nations (UN) and United States of America (US) have expressed their dissatisfaction over Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in that country’s Istanbul consulate.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) labeled Saudi Arabia’s trial of 11 suspects accused of killing the Washington Post columnist as insufficient.
Spokeswoman Rvina Shamdasani asked Saudi authorities to reveal details of the ongoing trial, in which a Saudi prosecutor had sought the death penalty for five of suspects linked to the October 2 assassination.
Turkish officials claim that Khashoggi was strangled to death and his body cut into pieces in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, last year.
Shamdasani, who said the office always opposed the death sentence, reiterated the UN’s call for an independent and international investigation. The statement on Friday came a day after a Saudi court held its first hearing.
A senior US State Department official declared that the US goovernment did not believe the Saudi approach over the death of journalism was “credible.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will express the need for accountability in the investigation during a visit next week to Riyadh, the official said.
“The Saudis should have a credible narrative for what happened. I don’t think from our point of view that the narrative emerging from the Saudis or the legal process has yet hit that threshold of credibility and accountability,” the official said.
The official, who was briefing reporters on Pompeo’s Middle East visit, said Pompeo wants Saudi Arabia to identify both the perpetrators and the planners of the killing, to make sure appropriate punishments are imposed.
Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was not seen again after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
His body was dismembered and removed from the building by a Saudi team the day he was killed, according to A Haber, a pro-government Turkish TV.
The channel last week leaked CCTV footage of bags and suitcases being lugged into the Saudi Arabian consul general’s residence in Istanbul. The bags and cases purportedly contained the chopped up body of Khashoggi.
Top Turkish officials place the blame for the killing at the highest levels of Saudi leadership. US intelligence believes the crown prince had very likely ordered the killing while Saudi officials deny the accusations.