Saudi Arabia rejects false allegations contained in UN expert’s report on Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said that the murder of citizen Jamal Khashoggi was a deplorable and grievous crime that could in no way be disregarded or condoned.

“As has already been announced, the Kingdom had taken the requisite steps to bring the perpetrators of that crime to justice, in accordance with the laws in force in its territory, after they violated, by their act, all the regulations and the powers vested in them,” Al-Jubeir said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

With regard to the report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, he said that “regrettably, Ms. Callamard’s report was full of unfounded allegations including, inter alia, the violation of a number of international conventions and a totally unacceptable impeachment of the Kingdom’s leadership”.

Al-Jubeir went on to say that, Saudi Arabia � while reaffirming its sincere commitment to and respect for international laws and conventions, and its rejection of all the abusive and false allegations contained in the report � retains its right to take legal action in response thereto.

Regarding the impartiality and credibility of the report, the Saudi official indicated that there were valid grounds to affirm the biased and non-objective nature of the special rapporteur’s report, of the special rapporteur herself and of the findings and conclusions that she reached.

He added that the special rapporteur had based her report on press and media reports and had relied on the analyses and deductions of unnamed experts in order to reach a number of fundamental conclusions in the report, in which she also made use of expressions, descriptions and allegations that had previously been used by parties opposed to the Kingdom for political, ideological and historical reasons, and which had been adopted by biased bodies seeking to detract from the Kingdom and its leadership. Needless to say, all this clearly showed that the report lacked impartiality, credibility and the reliability that should have been an important factor in its preparation even if, as in the case of this report, it was not an official or binding report of the United Nations.

Al-Jubeir said that the special rapporteur had disregarded the previously announced endeavors that Saudi Arabia’s competent agencies made to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime. He stated that the special rapporteur should have referred to those endeavors and should have shown due respect for the ongoing investigations and the judicial measures taken in this case within Saudi Arabia since they involved the sovereignty of the Kingdom and its judicial institutions, any violation of which was totally unacceptable.

The minister of state also said that, for unknown reasons, the report denigrated the publicly announced measures that the Kingdom had taken to restructure its Presidency of General Intelligence.

Regarding the competence of the special rapporteur, Al-Jubeir said that the false allegations and accusations made in the report gave cause to believe that they were grounded in Ms. Callamard’s preconceived ideas and attitudes concerning the Kingdom. He noted that this belief was further substantiated by the fact that, from the first days after the murder, Ms. Callamard made intentional but totally unfounded accusations against the Kingdom. She began, on the third day after the distressing event, by sending tweets accusing the Kingdom of being responsible for the murder and covering up the crime.

The special rapporteur had also described the statement of the Saudi Attorney General as unacceptable and had questioned the probity of the investigations in total disregard for the code of conduct under which she had an obligation to conduct a professional and impartial assessment of the facts, the minister of state added, spelling out that this raised important questions concerning the extent of Ms. Callamard’s competence to present an objective and impartial report on this case.

Al-Jubeir stressed that Saudi Arabia was seeking to ensure that this case was addressed in a manner totally devoid of any politicization or mediatization that would be prejudicial to the course of the judicial proceedings in the Kingdom, and therefore, in pursuit of its policy of cooperation with the international human rights mechanisms in conformity with the relevant internationally recognized principles and practices, on 3 June 2019 it had provided Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with a detailed interim report thereon.

The Saudi official concluded his statement by emphasizing that the Kingdom would never accept any attempt whatsoever to encroach on its sovereignty; it categorically rejects any attempt to influence or divert this case from its course in the Kingdom’s judicial system and would never accept any attempt to prejudice or run down the Kingdom’s leadership or interfere in the work of its independent judicial institutions.

Source: International Islamic News Agency