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U.N. envoy starts Khashoggi investigation in Turkey

By Nicholas Sakelaris
U.N. envoy starts Khashoggi investigation in Turkey
Palestinian activists hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Rafah, Gaza Strip, in October. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The United Nations' investigation into the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi started Monday with a special meeting of experts and officials in Turkey.

Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, met with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to talk about how Khashoggi was killed and what could be done to prevent future incidents.

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The week-long probe will "assess the steps taken by governments to address and respond to the killing, and the nature and extent of states' individuals' responsibilities for the killing."

"The inquiry will also seek to identify ways by which states can strengthen fulfillment of their international commitments to protect the right to life, prevent violations and ensure accountability," Callamard said in a statement.

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The case will also be evaluated from a human rights perspective.

Callamard, a French academic and director of the Columbia University Global Freedom of Expression Department, has a global mandate {link:to investigate executions. : "https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/01/28/un-investigator-on-khashoggi-arrives-in-turkey-meets-with-fm-cavusoglu" target="_blank"}

She's accompanied by Baroness Helena Kennedy, former World Academy of Forensic Medicine president, and Coimbra University Faculty of Medicine director Dr. Duarte Nuno Vieira.

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Callamard will report her findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June.

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Khashoggi, a Saudi Washington Post columnist, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Riyadh changed its story multiple times, first saying it was rogue agents and later saying it was a botched kidnapping. Finally, it acknowledged an assassination team intended to kill the journalist, who'd regularly criticized the Saudi royal family in his writings.

So far, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has stayed above the fray, despite intelligence reports that he ordered the killing.

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Turkey has sought to extradite the Saudis responsible for Khashoggi's death but Saudi Arabia has remained adamant that it will handle the case itself. Saudi prosecutors have indicted 11 of 21 suspects arrested in the killing and are seeking the death penalty for five of them.

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