United Nations investigation confirms Khashoggi killed by Saudi officials

United Nations investigation confirms Khashoggi killed by Saudi officials

United Nations investigation confirms Khashoggi killed by Saudi officials

U.S. intelligence services intercepted communications in which the Saudi leader said he would use "a bullet" against the Washington Post columnist if he did not stop publishing unflattering reports about the regime, The New York Times reported.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman made the chilling remark to the aide in a conversation intercepted by American intelligence agencies, The New York Times said, citing both American and foreign officials with knowledge of the agencies' reports.

In the conversation, Prince Mohammed said that if Khashoggi could not be enticed back to Saudi Arabia, then he should be returned by force. The Saudi government claims that the prince, who is the kingdom's de facto ruler, was not involved. Riyadh denies the prince had any involvement in the murder.

Saudi officials initially insisted that Khashoggi left the building unharmed, but acknowledged weeks later that the journalist was killed.

Meanwhile, Congress is "furious" over the Trump administration's response to Khashoggi's murder.

It has arrested several senior Saudi officials, but the murder plunged the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises.

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded that Saudi Arabia also undermined Turkey's efforts to investigate the death of journalist Mr Khashoggi, which she described as a "brutal and premeditated killing" planned and carried out by Saudi officials.

The statement did not say whether she had had access to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, as she had requested.

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Khashoggi was last seen alive entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised Khashoggi's killing among other issues during a meeting on Thursday with Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, according to the State Department.

She said the next phase of her investigation will take her to Washington to speak with officials from countries that have "taken a deep interest in the case" and have been in touch with Saudi and Turkish officials.

Ms Callamard also attacked Saudi Arabia's trial of 11 suspects in the case, saying it raises "major concerns" about transparency and fairness.

In light of the revelations, Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee said on Friday she hoped pressure from United States lawmakers would encourage the Trump adminstration to take a tougher stance on the killing.

According to the USA intelligence agencies, the murder of Khashoggi was enacted upon orders by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.

When al-Qahtani, who USA intelligence says was the ringleader of the murder, warned the prince that targeting Khashoggi could create an global uproar, he was told Saudi Arabia should not care about worldwide reaction to how it deals with its own citizens.

"I think that's what intelligence agencies do", he said.

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