Published: Fri, March 15, 2019

US cites Khashoggi murder as a rights abuse by Saudi Arabia

US cites Khashoggi murder as a rights abuse by Saudi Arabia

Amid calls for Saudi Arabia to cooperate with a United Nations -led investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the head of the kingdom's Human Rights Commission said on Thursday the accused killers were being brought to justice and reiterated the government's opposition to suggestions for an worldwide probe into the case.

He was killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

"Justice in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia operates pursuant to worldwide law and it does so in all transparency, " al-Aiban told the forum, right before adding that the Kingdom would not accept any "foreign interference" in its "domestic affairs or judicial system".

He insisted that his country was "horrified by what has happened pursuant to this unfortunate accident".

Many US lawmakers have said they believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing.

He said the kingdom would not accept what he termed as foreign interference in its domestic affairs and judicial system.

Aiban said that there had so far been three hearings, and that the accused and their lawyers had been present. The report notes Saudi Arabia has indicted 11 suspects but hasn't provided details on the investigation or who may have directed the operation.

Aiban's statements come a week after a rare censure of Saudi Arabia by 36 countries demanding transparency into the Khashoggi investigation.

The suspects, he said, "were entitled to a fair trial. and none of their human rights have been violated, and they have been subjected to no form of torture or cruel and inhuman treatment". "Such demands made upon us are tantamount to the global community doubting the integrity of our judicial apparatus and doubting the independence of our judiciary", he said.

Saudi Arabia initially said it had no knowledge of his fate. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince. More than a month after his death, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded Salman ordered Khashoggi's death.

The notice, issued on Thursday at the request of the Turkish government, names Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to bin Salman, as well as the country's ex-deputy army chief, Ahmed al-Assiri.

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