Jamal Khashoggi: Fiancée of murdered journalist calls for Saudi Crown Prince to 'be punished'

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By Euronews
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Zurich, Switzerland, Oct. 2, 2020.
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Zurich, Switzerland, Oct. 2, 2020.   -  Copyright  Alexandra Wey/Keystone via AP

The Turkish fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi demanded on Monday that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince "be punished without delay" following the publication of a US intelligence report accusing him of ordering the killing.

"This will not only bring the justice we have been seeking for Jamal, but it could also prevent similar acts recurring in the future. Only then will the sanctions that the USA is planning to implement be meaningful," Hatice Cengiz wrote in a statement.

"If the Crown Prince is not punished, it will forever signal that the main culprit can get away with murder which will endanger us all and be a strain on our humanity," she added.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist critical of his native country's regime, was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

His body, which audio recordings subsequently released by Turkish authorities revealed was dismembered, has never been found.

Riyadh blamed rogue security and intelligence officials for the murder and denied it had been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Eight unidentified Saudi nationals were last year sentenced to prison for their involvement in the killing.

But a newly-declassified US intelligence report released on Friday claimed that the Crown Prince likely approved the operation to capture or kill the journalist, reigniting calls for a transparent investigation.

"With the release of the US report, confirming Saudi officials culpability at the highest levels, the United States should now take the lead in ensuring accountability for this crime and for setting in place the international mechanisms to prevent and punish such acts in the future," Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a Facebook statement.

Riyadh has rejected the US report's "negative, false and unacceptable assessment". The Foreign Ministry added in a statement that the report contains "inaccurate information and conclusions."

It reiterated that its claim that the crime was committed by rogue officials and said that "the relevant authorities in the Kingdom took all possible measures within our legal system to ensure that these individuals were properly investigated, and to ensure that justice was served."