The Saudi Royals and Jamal Khashoggi: case developments

Friday 21st Jun 2019

This week has seen further developments in the case of the murdered Saudi journalist, Jamal Khasshogi, with statements from the UN special rapporteur on extra judicial executions and the Saudi Foreign Minister.

Khassoghi, who was a vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul on October 9 2018 by a “hit team” of 15 assassins who reportedly flew in from Riyadh on private jets to carry out the gruesome deed. The murder drew both strong media attention and international condemnation of the Saudi Royals, causing a number investors and businesses to pull out of deals with the Royal Family’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.

This week, after a six-month investigation, special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, has accused Saudi Arabia of carrying out a “deliberate, premeditated execution”. Her and her team are also calling for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials to be investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, citing credible evidence for there involvement.

In response, Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, came out on the defensive, arguing that the UN investigation’s results were both “false and non-binding”, and contain nothing more than “media speculation”.

What is not argued is that the hit team carried out the murder and dismemberment in the embassy and tried to dispose of the evidence, which objectively bore the hall-marks of a coordinated and planned attack. While the truth of who ordered the murder of one of MBS’s most vocal critics may never come to light, the damage it has done to the Crown Prince’s reputation is not in dispute.


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