We urge international probe of Khashoggi case but lack jurisdiction for criminal investigation, says UN human rights chief

UN urges international inquiry on Khashoggi killing

By Bayram Altug

GENEVA

The Oct. 2 killing in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi should face an international probe, just not one by the UN, said the UN human rights chief on Wednesday.

“We urged an international probe on the Khashoggi case. But we don’t have jurisdiction for a criminal investigation,” Michelle Bachelet, UN high commissioner for human rights, told reporters at the UN offices in Geneva.

“I do believe [an international investigation] is really needed in terms of ensuring what really happened and who are responsible for that awful killing,” she added.

Rebuffing charges of UN inaction, Bachalet said they have been waiting for “detailed information” as the UN can’t act in line with unconfirmed reports, reiterating that it lacks the jurisdiction to act itself.

On the situation in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, she said: “At least 7,000 civilians are trapped in Daesh-controlled areas in the region. Civilians in the region are being used as bargaining chips and pawns, and they are paying the greatest price for the civil war in Syria.”

Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, the Kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.