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article imageOp-Ed: UN report says Crown Prince Salman involved in Khashoggi murder

By Ken Hanly     Jun 19, 2019 in World
Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur found in a thorough and quite critical report that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing carried out by top Saudi officials including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Callamard's conclusion
In her report Callamard wrote: "Evidence points to the 15-person mission to execute Mr. Khashoggi requiring significant government coordination, resources, and finances. Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the crown prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched."
Details of Khashoggi's final moments
The report of just over a hundred pages also included new details of the Khashoggi's final moments. Callamard, who listened to audio tapes provided by Turkish authorities, says that two Saudi agents Maher Mutreb and Dr. Salah Tubaigy discussed how they would dismember and dispose of Khashoggi's body only minutes before he entered the Istanbul Saudi consulate. He went there to pick up marriage papers.
Tunbaigy told Mutreb: "Joints will be separated. First time I cut on the ground. If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished." Mutreb said Khashoggi was a sacrificial animal accord to an audio that Callamard obtained.
According to Callamard assessments of recording by Turkish intelligence Khashoggi may have been injected with a drug and then suffocated using a plastic bag. The Saudis immediately rejected the report: "The minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, tweeted it was “nothing new … the report of the rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations.”"
Khashoggi's body or body parts have not yet been found. In spite of all the evidence the Trump administration has not blamed the Crown Prince. Trump has even smeared Khashoggi and warned that it would not be a good idea to break relations with the Saudis as this could result in higher oil prices.
Callamard wants further investigations
Callamard said her findings, after five months of investigation, suggest there should be further probes into the Saudi Crown Prince's role in the murder along with those of other Saudi officials. The report also calls for the US government to have the FBI launch an investigation into the execution of Mr. Khashoggi and even suggests that criminal prosecutions within the US would be appropriate.
Callamard recommends that trial of 11 suspects be suspended
Callamard said that the trial of the eleven suspects identified by the Saudis should be suspended, as the trial was shrouded in secrecy and lacked credibility. Callamard said: “Some eight months after the execution of Mr Khashoggi, the determination and assignment of individual responsibilities remain clouded in secrecy and lack of due process...To date the Saudi state has failed to offer public recognition of its responsibility for the killing of Mr Khashoggi, and it has failed to offer an apology to Mr Khashoggi’s family, friends and colleagues for his death and for the manner in which he was killed."
The CIA had already concluded Salman was involved in the killing last fall as reported on the appended video. However, this has not influenced Trump's attitude.
Trump to bypass Congress to sell arms to the Saudis
Trump appears to take the view that Saudi Arabia is an important ally and a big purchaser of arms from the US. He thinks that this is more important than Saudi's involvement in the murder of Khashoggi and its terrible human rights record.
A recent article notes: "President Donald Trump's administration on Friday bypassed Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing a threat from Iran, infuriating lawmakers who fear the weapons could kill civilians in Yemen. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration would circumvent the required review by Congress to approve 22 arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, saying that the freeze on sales by Congress could affect the Arab allies' operational abilities."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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