'Urgent need for clarification' on Khashoggi death: UK, France, Germany

AFP London, UK Oct 21, 2018, 09.35 PM(IST)

File Photo: A demonstrator holds a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

'There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on October 2nd -- beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible,' the three countries said in a joint statement.

Britain, France and Germany on Sunday said Saudi Arabia must clarify how dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died inside its Istanbul consulate, and its account must "be backed by facts to be considered credible".

"There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on October 2nd -- beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible," the three countries said in a joint statement.

"We thus stress that more efforts are needed and expected towards establishing the truth in a comprehensive, transparent and credible manner," they added.

"We will ultimately make our judgement based on the credibility of the further explanation we receive about what happened and our confidence that such a shameful event cannot and will not ever be repeated."

After a fortnight of denials, Saudi authorities admitted Saturday that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed after entering the consulate in Turkey on October 2.

But it has faced a growing chorus of incredulity over its belated explanation that he died in a "brawl", as world powers demand answers and the whereabouts of his body.

"The threatening, attacking or killing of journalists, under any circumstances, is unacceptable and of utmost concern to our three nations," added the European allies' statement.

"The quality and significance of the relationship we have with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also rests with the respect we have for the norms and values to which the Saudi authorities and us are jointly committed under international law," they warned.