Saudi Arabia carried out 'extrajudicial execution' on Khashoggi: UN expert

Demonstrators stage the protest against the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London Britain October 25 2018. — Reuters pic

Shortly after Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 while retrieving a document at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkish authorities said he was the victim of a premeditated killing by 15 Saudi agents sent to Turkey on a mission to permanently silence the journalist, who had been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The CIA's Haspel heard an audio recording of Khashoggi's death during a trip to Turkey this week, sources told Reuters.

Initially Saudi officials claimed Khashoggi had left the diplomatic mission unharmed; however, under Turkish pressure joined by the questions from the global community, it was forced to confess that he had been killed in a premeditated murder.

Mevlut Cavusoglu is Turkey's foreign minister.

The eldest son of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Salah, and his family have left the Gulf kingdom for the United States after the government lifted a travel ban, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

An independent United Nations investigator says Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of an "extrajudicial execution" carried out by the Saudi state. That earlier assertion, in turn, backtracked from an initial statement that Saudi authorities knew nothing about what happened to the columnist for The Washington Post, who vanished after entering the consulate October 2.

How Western allies deal with Riyadh will hinge on the extent to which they believe responsibility for Khashoggi's death lies directly with the prince and the Saudi authorities.

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Saudi authorities acknowledged on Saturday that Khashoggi was killed October 2 at the consulate under still-disputed circumstances.

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The European Parliament passed a nonbinding resolution Thursday urging an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia in response.

A state media photo showing Salah staring coldly at the prince as the pair shook hands went viral on social media, where rights activists demanded the immediate lifting of the travel ban.

Salah Khashoggi met Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince before leaving for the US. He had been planning to settle in Istanbul and marry his Turkish fiancee when he was detained and killed in the Saudi Consulate.

It also came two days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech calling Khashoggi's killing "brutal" and "planned" while demanding that the perpetrators be extradited to Turkey.

The king assured Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Thursday that the Saudi government was determined to hold the guilty parties accountable and make sure "they receive their punishment", according to the official Saudi press agency.

On Tuesday, the Crown Prince and his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz were pictured shaking hands with the Salah at an investment conference in Riyadh, CNN reported.

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