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United Nations to investigate Saudi Arabia's human rights record

05 November 2018

On Monday, Turkish newspaper Sabah, citing unnamed officials, said new evidence in the case showed that Khashoggi's body had been removed from the consulate in five suitcases, and that an 11-member team of Saudi investigators that arrived in Turkey nine days after he disappeared included a chemical expert and a toxicology expert, who removed evidence of the killing.

Khashoggi's sons on Monday demanded the return of the body of the Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi government, who disappeared at the consulate on October 2.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 after he went there to get documents for his upcoming marriage.

Turkish and Saudi officials have carried out joint inspections of the consulate and consul's residence in Istanbul, but President Tayyip Erdogan says some Saudi officials are still trying to cover up the crime.

Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb met with Turkish authorities last week in Istanbul but refused to share information from Riyadh's own investigation, according to Turkish officials.

In an article in the Washington Post on Friday, Erdogan said the order to kill Khashoggi came from the "highest levels" of the Saudi government and called for the "puppetmasters" to be unmasked.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 suspects who have been detained in Saudi Arabia.

The murder has placed strain on Saudi Arabia's relationship with the United States and other western countries and has tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler.

Vice President Fuat Oktay said Monday that reports of acid being used to get rid of Khashoggi's body need to be investigated.

Saudi Arabia acknowledged last month that Turkish evidence indicates that the Khashoggi's killing at the consulate was premeditated, shifting its explanation in an apparent effort to ease global outrage over the death.

In an interview with CNN, Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi said they wanted to return the body to Saudi Arabia to bury it. "This will happen. Otherwise Saudi wouldn't have started an internal investigation", Salah said.

"I ask Saudi Arabia now publicly, through your program, to have the investigation made public as soon as possible", he said.

Separately, a top Saudi human rights official has reiterated his government's "regret and pain" over Mr Khashoggi's death.

Saudi officials reportedly considered him part of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian political organization that some countries consider a terror group.

United Nations to investigate Saudi Arabia's human rights record