(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. - US President Donald Trump said October 11, 2018 he was not yet prepared to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, but he faced mounting pressure from concerned American lawmakers. Saudi Arabia is one of the world's largest arms purchasers, with most of them coming from the United States.Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, vanished more than a week ago during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish government sources say he was murdered there, a claim Riyadh denies. (Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

The top line out of the new United Nations report released Wednesday on the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is that there is “credible evidence” that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and other high-level officials are personally liable for the grisly murder.

But the 101-page report also shows that while Khashoggi was certainly a wanted man, the kingdom may not have conspired to kill him as a first choice but rather did so as a Plan B, according to the findings by Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard.

Instead, they hoped to take him back to the kingdom to face Mohammed bin Salman personally. When it seemed clear he would not cooperate, they killed him.

Saudi Arabia has 11 yet-unidentified people on trial for the murder and is seeking the death penalty for five of them. But Callamard says the trial is a farce and fails to meet international standards. She calls for it to be suspended and for an independent investigative team to look into the kingdom’s involvement instead. Khashoggi’s body has never been found.

“Nothing new,” Adel al-Jubeir, the minister of foreign affairs of Saudi Arabia tweeted in response to the report. “The report of the rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility.”

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