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Khashoggi Audio, per UN Report: 'We Are Coming to Get You'

Report from special rapporteur says Saudi crown prince should be investigated
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2019 6:44 AM CDT
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman poses during a group picture ahead of the Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on June 1, 2019.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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(Newser) – Eleven Saudis are on trial in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Now, however, a UN human rights expert says those further up the ladder, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, should be investigated for the "extrajudicial" killing that Saudi Arabia itself should bear responsibility for. Per the Washington Post and CNN, a newly released, 100-plus-page report from special rapporteur Agnes Callamard says Khashoggi, killed Oct. 2, 2018, at Istanbul's Saudi Consulate, was the victim of a "deliberate, premeditated execution," and that an operation of that scale would have required "significant government coordination, resources, and finances." The report says it also couldn't have gone down without at least some knowledge by MBS himself, and that there's solid evidence the Saudis' own probe wasn't "conducted in good faith" and may have obstructed justice.

So far, the only senior official on trial is the kingdom's ex-deputy head of intelligence. Callamard has called to suspend the secret trial of 11, saying innocent people may pay the price. Al Jazeera and the Guardian note her report also contained, based on "chilling" audio from Turkish authorities, gruesome details of Khashoggi's last day. "Joints will be separated," one Saudi agent told another while discussing the "sacrificial animal" before he got there. When Khashoggi arrived, a voice can be heard telling him, "We are coming to get you." He seemed to sense his fate: "There is a towel here. Are you going to give me drugs?" "We will anesthetize you," another voice replied. Then, "sounds of a struggle," per the report. Callamard didn't find any smoking gun that proved MBS or his father, King Salman, was in on the plot, or that the US or Turkey knew anything was going to happen ahead of time. (Read more Jamal Khashoggi stories.)

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