Saudi kingdom pursuing justice in Khashoggi murder, says official

Saudi Human Rights official: Brought perpetrators of Khashoggi murder to justice

The Trump administration is using an annual report on human rights abuses around the world to call out ally Saudi Arabia over the killing of USA -based journalist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL' khahr-SHOHK'-jee).

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 previous year.

Expressing Turkey's deep concerns about Bandar bin Mohammed Al Aiban's objection to an worldwide probe, Altun said they couldn't understand why a human rights official would refuse and be unsettled by efforts to bring the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi's death to light, especially after a united global call. "The person who ordered this operation is still safe and he is still leading the country", Assiri said, referring to Salman.

"Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country".

His comments came hours after the head of the Saudi human rights commission said the kingdom was bringing those accused of the murder to justice and rejected an global investigation into the case.

Earlier in the day, Saudi human rights commission chief Bandar bin Mohammed al-Aiban told the UN Human Rights Council that those accused of the "heinous crime" and "unfortunate accident" at its Istanbul consulate would face prosecution domestically.

Saudi Arabian officials initially denied Khashoggi was killed, then they claimed he died in a brawl and eventually admitted the killing was premeditated. He gave no names or details.

The kingdom, he said, will not accept calls to "internationalize" the legal proceedings, which would be perceived as foreign interference with domestic affairs.

"We would like to assume that Mr. Al Aiban's remarks reflected his personal views rather than the official position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - our friend and kin", the communications director said.

The CIA concluded late a year ago that bin Salman ordered the journalist's assassination, an accusation that has been echoed by United States senators and other observers.

Eleven men are on trial in Saudi Arabia, accused of involvement in the killing.

Agnes Callamard, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, was in Turkey in late January to probe what happened to the journalist.

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