Saudi Arabia should conduct open, serious trial into journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder case, UN’ Callamard says

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A United Nations human rights expert has on Thursday said Saudi Arabia’s secretively hearing 11 perpetrators of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has fallen short of international standards and that Saudi should stay open to the public and the trial observers.

According to Al-Jazeera news reports, Agnes Callamard who is leading an international investigation into the killing of the journalist at Saudi’s consulate in Istanbul last year in October, has called upon Saudi Arabia to disclose the names of defendants as well as the fate of ten other arrested perpetrators.

In an official statement on Thursday, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Callamard said, “The Government of Saudi Arabia is grievously mistaken if it believes that these proceedings, as currently constituted, will satisfy the international community, either in terms of procedural fairness under international standards or in terms of the validity of their conclusions.”

The Saudi prosecutor had indicted 11 suspects last November, including five that might face a death penalty over the charges of planning and committing the crime.

The CIA assessment has concluded last year that Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered the killing of Khashoggi, which Riyadh official has totally denied any wrongdoing.

While referring to the world diplomats on the UNSC who had attended four hearings, Callamard warned: “They risk being participants in a potential miscarriage of justice, possibly complicit should it be shown that the trials are marred by violations of human rights law.”

Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara said an “open, serious trial, rather than a show trial” would definitely lead to some of those who are truly responsible for the crime.

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