Al-Jubeir: UN Khashoggi report has ‘contradictions that hurt its credibility’

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Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said on Wednesday that the UN report regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s murder “has clear contradictions and baseless accusations, which hurt its credibility”.

“Nothing new … The Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council is reiterating what was published and circulated in the media,” al-Jubeir added.

The minister also mentioned that the Khashoggi trials are being attended by representatives from the permanent members of the Security Council, in addition to Turkey and Saudi human rights organizations, adding that the investigations and trials are ongoing.

“The Saudi judiciary is the competent authority in the Khashoggi case and it is working with complete independence,” al-Jubeir said.

The Saudi minister said that the Kingdom has taken the necessary measures to bring the perpetrators of Khashoggi’s crime to justice and that Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council, ignored those efforts in her report.

“The report on the Khashoggi case constitutes a violation of international conventions and the Kingdom reserves the right to take legal action in response to Callamard,” al-Jubeir said.

“We have serious reasons to confirm the lack of neutrality and objectivity Callamard’s report … The report contains false allegations stemming from Callamard’s earlier thoughts about the kingdom,” he added.

The Saudi minister described the killing of Khashoggi as an unfortunate and painful crime and that the Kingdom has provided the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with a detailed report in June regarding the case.

Al-Jubeir went on to say that Callamard’s report was not an official UN report and is non-binding.

The 101-page long UN report was issued on Wednesday, and it recounts details of Khashoggi’s murder, using claimed recordings of conversations from inside the Istanbul consulate.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat about the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Sunday: “Such acts are alien to our culture and contradict our principles and values”.

In the same interview, the prince added that the Kingdom has taken the necessary measures, whether through the judiciary to hold the perpetrators to account or through taking procedural measures to prevent such unfortunate crimes from taking place again in the future.

“Unfortunately, the suspects are government employees and we seek to achieve full justice. Any party seeking to politically exploit the case must cease doing so and present whatever evidence it has to the courts in the Kingdom to help achieve justice,” the prince said.

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