Ankara, UN in talks over international probe of Khashoggi murder

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 12.12.2018 01:29
Updated 12.12.2018 08:00

Turkey is in talks with the United Nations regarding an investigation into the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said yesterday.

"Demands for an international investigation have started coming; we are continuing talks with the U.N. on this," Çavuşoğlu told a news conference in Ankara.

Last week, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said an international investigation was needed to determine who was responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

He further added that several foreign ministers at the G20 summit agreed to jointly apply for the international probe into the killing. "Our expectation is actually for none of this to be necessary and for Saudi Arabia to cooperate for those responsible to be found out," he said.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister rejected Sunday Turkey's demands to extradite suspects connected to the murder of the journalist. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emphasized the matter for some time now.

"We do not extradite our citizens," Adel al-Jubeir said at the end of the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) annual summit held in Riyadh Monday. He added that "the Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been."

"The Saudi minister's decision not to extradite the suspects in the Khashoggi murder case is disappointing," Turkish Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said yesterday. "It will be in the best interest of the international community to seek justice for Khashoggi under international law," he added.

Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül on Monday called for the truth in the killing to be unveiled without a cover-up and reiterated Turkey's extradition demands.

"Saudi authorities should be constructive, yet we have not witnessed such actions. Saudi Arabia kept its silence on the issue. If you want to clear this issue you should cooperate with Turkey," Gül said. Pointing out that Turkey has been meticulously conducting the investigation, he underscored that the killing has become an issue of concern for the international community.

Meanwhile, Lithuania has become the latest Western country to blacklist Saudi officials over the slaying of Khashoggi.

Rasa Jakilaitiene, the spokeswoman for the Baltic country's foreign minister, told the Baltic News Service (BNS) the names of 17 Saudi officials have been put on the list "in solidarity with international partners."

The region's main news agency said Monday that the list includes suspected killers and close advisers to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

BNS said the names were listed by the Lithuanian Migration Department under the so-called Magnitsky law blacklisting people for human rights violations.

Khashoggi on Time's ‘Person of the Year' shortlist

While the case still preserves its mystery, Khashoggi was chosen for Time Magazine's "Person of the Year," the publication announced Monday.

The Washington Post columnist was described by the magazine as a "prolific commentator and critic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman," and was on the list of candidates alongside powerful world figures including U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Believed to have been murdered on the orders of the crown prince, his death prompted international outcry and scrutiny of the Saudi regime," Time said.

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