A United Nations human rights expert has visited the vicinity of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as part of her investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and her team of experts toured around the consulate but did not enter, saying they were waiting for permission from Saudi officials, with whom they were in communication.
Callamard, an expert on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary killing, said she would present her report in June to the UN’s Human Rights Council.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October last year.
His remains have still not been found.
Callamard’s team is on a week-long visit to Turkey and is expected to meet Istanbul’s chief prosecutor. The team has also met the country’s foreign and justice ministers.
Turkish officials have been frustrated over what they say is a lack of cooperation by Riyadh and has called for an international inquiry into Khashoggi’s death.
In a tweet, the Turkish president’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, welcomed the visit: “We still do not know where Khashoggi’s body is, who ordered the hit and who the ‘local collaborator’ was.”
Saudi Arabia at first spent several weeks denying that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but later admitted that it had happened and indicted 11 people in the killing, including members of the crown prince’s entourage.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of the defendants.
Turkey says Saudi Arabia must reveal the identity of a person who is thought to have disposed of the journalist’s body and hold all involved accountable.
Picture: AP Photo/Hasan Jamali/File