Turkey, UN in talks for international Khashoggi investigation, foreign minister says

Turkey and the United Nations are in talks to launch an international investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Tuesday.

“Requests for an international investigation have started to come in. These include requests from the UN. We have discussed the matter with the UN General Secretary, and talks are ongoing,” Çavuşoğlu said during a joint press conference with other minister in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered on October 2 after entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul to collect divorce papers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the murder was likely planned by high officials in the Saudi government, hinting at the crown prince himself as the perpetrator. This is an assessment shared by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which described Prince Mohammed as the man who likely ordered the killing. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has stood by the crown prince.

Last week UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet repeated her earlier call for an independent international investigation to ensure “what really happened and who are the (people) responsible for that awful killing.”

The human rights chief said in October a team of international experts with full access to witnesses and evidence was required for any investigation free of political overtones.

She added that an autopsy of Khashoggi would be necessary for a full-ranging investigation, calling on the Saudi government to reveal the location of his body.

Riyadh, however, has not yet complied with that request. Çavuşoğlu had similar criticisms of the Saudis’ willingness to cooperate.

“We have seen no effort from Saudi Arabia to shed light on the murder. The Saudi prosecutor hasn’t brought us any documents or information on the matter,” he said.