Saudi Arabia's probe on Khashoggi can't be trusted: activists

Saudi Arabia's probe on Khashoggi can't be trusted: activists
2 min read
15 October, 2018
An investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi led by the Saudi authorities cannot be trusted, rights campaigners said on Monday.
An internal probe into the fate of Khashoggi was ordered by King Salman [Anadolu]
Any investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi led by the Saudi authorities cannot be trusted, rights campaigners said on Monday.

An internal probe into the fate of the prominent journalist was ordered by Saudi Arabia's King Salman as a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to inspect the Saudi consulate Istanbul later on Monday.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and US resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade warned that an investigation by the Saudi authorities cannot be trusted because when the Saudis were allowed to investigate themselves for war crimes in Yemen the results were a whitewash.

"The Saudi dictatorship has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and cannot be trusted to investigate itself for abuses," Andrew Smith, media coordinator at Campaign Against Arms Trade said.

"It has shown this through its decades of repression against Saudi people, and through the terrible humanitarian catastrophe it has inflicted on Yemen."

Campaign Against Arms Trade pointed to a royal pardon issued by Saudi Arabia which lifted military or disciplinary penalties on Saudi forces in Yemen.

The remarks come as reports said King Salman ordered an "internal probe" into the disappearance, a move critics say is designed to deflect the growing pressure on the kingdom and possibly produce a "scapegoat". But most analysts agree that a high-profile operation such as the one behind Khashoggi's disappearance could have only been ordered by the top leadership in the kingdom.

The group urged the British government to halt arms trade Saudi Arabia and to push to end the war on Yemen, which began in 2015.

"We hope that the latest allegations can serve as a turning point," Smith said, "By arming and supporting the Saudi regime the UK government has been totally complicit in its atrocities."

The Khashoggi disappearance controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohammed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

Donald Trump has threatened the kingdom with "severe punishment" if it is shown that Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul mission.

Britain, France and Germany also released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness" and calling for a "credible investigation".

Agencies contributed to this report.