UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a “credible” investigation into the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is said to have been killed by the highest levels of the Saudi regime.
According to Press TV, speaking at the Doha Forum 2018 on Sunday, the UN chief said he had no information on Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul except what had been reported in the media.”
However, he added, "it is absolutely essential to have a credible investigation and to have the punishment of those that were guilty."
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi crown prince and a US resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage.
Saudi Arabia initially claimed he had left the consulate alive, but weeks later admitted that he was killed inside the diplomatic mission and blamed his death on a group of Saudi operatives.
It also promised to launch a probe into the case, but Guterres’ remarks show that the international community does not trust the Saudi rulers after the lies they told regarding the case.
Turkish authorities believe that a 15-person “hit squad” was sent from Saudi Arabia to Istanbul to kill the 61-yerar-old journo.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the order to slay Khashoggi had been issued from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government, suggesting that the crown prince had ordered such a gruesome crime.
The CIA is said to have concluded that bin Salman had “probably ordered” the murder.
A purported transcript of an audio recording of Khashoggi’s killing shared with CNN showed that the dissident journalist’s death had been the execution of a premeditated plan, unlike what Saudi officials initially claimed.
The transcript described the last painful moments of Khashoggi’s life, noting that his screams and gasps could be heard on the tape. It also identified the sounds of saw and cutting as the victim's body was dismembered.
Saudi Arabia has been facing international condemnation over the brutal murder.