A UN judicial expert who is looking into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday, as Ankara called for an international inquiry into the killing.
The UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, will be in Turkey until Saturday for a series of meetings with authorities including the Istanbul chief prosecutor.
“Met with @AgnesCallamard, #UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, who is in #Turkey to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter, sharing a picture from his meeting in Ankara.
In an interview with Turkish media last week, Cavusoglu said the Khashoggi case was “not a part of bilateral ties” with Riyadh.
“We believe this case should be brought to the international arena,” he said.
“It is time for an international probe.”
During her mission, Callemard is due to meet with Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Earlier this week, she demanded access to the crime scene in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and to visit the Saudi kindgom.
“I have requested access to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a meeting with the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saud Arabia in Turkey,” Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on executions said in an email to the Reuters news agency.
“I have also sought permission to conduct a similar country-visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“It is hoped this will help ensure accountability and transparency in this case and may open new avenues for the prevention and protection of the right to life in other cases, including of journalists and human rights defenders, and accountability for their killings,” she added.
The UN expert will evaluate the circumstances of the killing and investigate the “nature and the extent of states’ and individuals’ responsibilities for the killing”.
Her findings and recommendations will be reported to the UN Human Rights Council at the June 2019 session.
The inquiry is being conducted at her request and she will be accompanied by three experts, including those with forensic expertise.
“I conceive of this inquiry to be a necessary step, among a number of others, towards crucial truth telling about and formal accountability for the gruesome killing of Mr. Khashoggi,” Callamard said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Riyadh regime, was murdered on 2 October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Riyadh called the killing a “rogue” operation by Saudi operatives, but few believed the excuse and tipped the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises in recent times.
Turkish authorities have called for an international probe into the killing which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, complaining of Riyadh’s failure to cooperate.
Nearly four months later, the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body remains unknown and Turkish officials accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating the killing – an allegation Saudi authorities categorically refute.
Earlier this month a trial of 11 accused in the murder opened in Saudi Arabia with the attorney general seeking the death penalty for five defendants.
The UN Human Rights Office said that the trial taking place in Saudi Arabia into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “not sufficient”.