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UN doubts fairness of Saudi trial for Khashoggi murderers

Flag of Saudi Arabia waves at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 11 October 2018 [Ahmet Bolat/Anadolu Agency]
Flag of Saudi Arabia on 11 October 2018 [Ahmet Bolat/Anadolu Agency]

The UN Human Rights Office said yesterday it could not assess the fairness of Saudi Arabia's trial for the murderers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to Al Jazeera, the spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, Ravina Shamdasani, said that the ongoing trial is "not sufficient" and called for an independent investigation "with international involvement".

Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 people in relation to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which took place inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. The Saudi prosecutor since called for death penalty for five out of 11 suspects in the murder.

However, when asked about the proposed death penalty, Shamdasani said that the US is "against the imposition of the death penalty".

Rights groups also doubted the fairness of such a trial, with Middle East Director at Amnesty International, Samah Hadid, saying on Thursday:

Given the possible involvement of Saudi authorities in Khashoggi's murder and the lack of independence of Saudi Arabia's criminal justice system, the impartiality of any investigation and trial would be in question. This is why a UN-led and independent investigation is needed into the murder.

Read: Turkish TV shows purported transfer of Khashoggi remains

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Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUN
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