Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi writer and columnist, was killed in October 2018 after entering the consulate to obtain the paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. Photograph:( Reuters )
Saudi Arabia had said earlier that Khashoggi was killed in a "rogue operation"
Saudi Arabia's human right's commission chief Bandar Al Aiban said that King Salman had instructed the prosecution to investigate Jamal Khashoggi's murder according to applicable Saudi laws.
"We should affirm that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded on the basis of Islamic Sharia with its provisions stemming from the realisation of the principles of justice and its criteria," Aiban said at a UN meeting.
The United States Charge d'Affaires, Mark Cassayre, said that US condemned the "premeditated killing" of Khashoggi who was allegedly killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month. Cassayre said a "thorough, conclusive and transparent investigation" was essential in accordance with "due process with results made public."
"Reports that the killing was pre-meditated are deeply alarming," Australian ambassador Sally Mansfield told the UN Human Rights Council. Mansfield said Australia "deplores the killing of Jamal Khashoggi".
"The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to carrying out a fair investigation, and the hands of justice will reach all persons involved with this crime, and the investigation is still underway in accordance with the established regulations and procedures," Aiban said.
Saudi Arabia had said earlier that Khashoggi was killed in a "rogue operation" after initially denying any involvement. The kingdom's public prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb later said he was killed in a premeditated attack.
France's ambassador Francois Rivasseau said Saudi Arabia should "immediately halt imprisonment and arbitrary arrests" of journalists and activists.
The meeting was attended by diplomats of over 40 countries who called for a thorough probe into the disappearance and murder of Khashoggi who was a well-known critic of the Saudi regime headed by King Salman.
Khashoggi's sons on Monday demanded the return of the body as the controversy over the death of the Saudi journalist continued to seize the headlines.