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Saudi Arabia rejects international investigation into Khashoggi murder as Interpol chases suspects

Saudi Arabia has rejected calls for an independent investigation into Khashoggi's death [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 March, 2019

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The head of a Saudi delegation rejected calls for an international investigation into the death of Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday reiterated its rejection of calls for an international, independent investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, insisting it was well equipped to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Bandar al-Aiban, the head of a Saudi delegation, speaking before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva insisted that his country was taking all the "measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime".

Interpol issued a red notice on the same day for 20 Saudi suspects in the murder of US-based Khashoggi upon Turkey's request. This makes the members of the execution team liable to arrest around the world.

Al-Aiban refuted calls to "internationalise" the investigation, saying it would "amount to an interference in our domestic affairs".

He spoke as the Human Rights Council conducted a regular review of Saudi Arabia's human rights record, a periodic process faced by all UN member states.

Under the Universal Periodic Review process, the "concerned" country receives recommendations from fellow states in the Human Rights Council about how to improve their human rights situations - and can decide whether or not to accept them.

Matthew Forman, a political counsellor for the British mission in Geneva, said his country was "disappointed" that Saudi Arabia did not fully accept its recommendation on the use of a "specialised criminal court".

His presentation came after 36 countries last week issued a joint statement demanding justice following the killing, in an unprecedented rebuke of the oil-rich kingdom at the rights council.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Saudi Arabia initially said it had no knowledge of his fate.

It has since blamed rogue agents for Khashoggi's death and the kingdom's public prosecutor has charged 11 people over his murder.

Aiban said that there had so far been three hearings, and that the accused and their lawyers had been present.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has faced international scrutiny after the murder of Khashoggi. Dozens of Saudi women activists are imprisoned for their human rights work and have faced torture and sexual harassment in prison.

The CIA believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the murder. 

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