(CN) – Returning from her fact-finding mission to Turkey, a U.N. investigator concluded Thursday that Saudi officials likely perpetrated the “brutal and premeditated killing” of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the sheer brutality of it has brought irreversible tragedy to his loved ones,” Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a statement. “It is also raising a number of international implications which demand the urgent attention of the international community including the United Nations.”
Callamard traveled to Turkey’s capital city of Ankara as well as Istanbul, the city where Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2.
British barrister Helena Kennedy, forensics expert Duarte Nuno Vieira and homicide investigator Paul Johnston accompanied Callamard and have been continuing their investigation inside of Turkey. Kennedy also serves as the Queen’s counsel.
The team plans to release their full findings in June.
For now, their preliminary findings accuse Saudi Arabia of impeding Turkey’s investigation.
“Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation,” she said.
The Saudi government initially denied that for weeks that Khashoggi died inside the building until a flood of Turkish government leaks made their position untenable.
Diplomatic immunity was never supposed to work this way, Callamard noted.
“Guarantees of immunity were never intended to facilitate the commission of a crime and exonerate its authors of their criminal responsibility or to conceal a violation of the right to life,” the investigator said. “The circumstances of the killing and the response by state representatives in its aftermath may be described as ‘immunity for impunity.’”