International investigator to issue report on Khashoggi murder

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By Saphora Smith and Reuters  with NBC News World News
Image: Jamal Khashoggi looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini c
Jamal Khashoggi looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.   -   Copyright  Mohammed Al-Shaikh

The United Nations extrajudicial executions investigator, Agnes Callamard, will on Wednesday issue a report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In October, Callamard said in the past that the evidence pointed to a brutal crime "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials. Her report was expected to be issued at 1 p.m. in Geneva (7 a.m. ET).

Khashoggi, a permanent U.S. resident and vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered and dismembered on Oct. 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudis at first denied that Khashoggi had gone missing, but after a series of embarrassing reports and revelations they eventually admitted that the journalist's killing had been premeditated and pinned the blame on a rogue team — some of whom are known to have been close to bin Salman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Fayez Nureldine

Meanwhile, the CIA has concluded that the crown princeordered Khashoggi's killing. The claim has been resolutely rejected by Riyadh.

The murder and the Saudi's botched response triggered a wave or revulsion and anger around the world that appeared to catch the kingdom's officials by surprise. Following the murder, the Trump administration has faced criticism for its defense of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

The absolute monarchy is a longtime U.S. ally, but under Trump, King Salman and his son, the crown prince, have become linchpinsof American policy in the region.

In response to the killing, Riyadh originally detained 21 individuals, eleven of whom are on trial in the Kingdom. However, the trials proceed in secrecy, and the names and charges have yet to be released, according to Callamard.

In November, the U.S. announced sanctions against 17 Saudi Arabian officials over the killing. In April, the State Department publicly barred all but one of them from entering the U.S. Washington had also previously revoked the visas for 21 unnamed Saudi individuals associated with the murder.