By Musa Adamu
The International Press Institute IPI, a global network of editors, media executives and journalists for press freedom, has urged Saudi Arabia to replace an ongoing trial into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with transparent proceedings defined by international input, support and oversight.
In a letter to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud marking the first anniversary of Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, IPI said that the secrecy surrounding the court case is “extremely disturbing”.
Describing the ongoing proceedings as “farcical”, the letter said that the government had not released the names of the defendants and dates of the hearing are not made public.IPI urged the king to accept the recommendations of the U.N. special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
“As recommended by the U.N. special rapporteur, the government should support a U.N.-led additional criminal investigation and conduct a transparent retrial with international input, support and oversight”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said in the letter.
“The international community has lost faith in Saudi Arabia’s justice system. The only way to reverse this is for your government to take immediate and concrete steps to bring all those responsible for the murder”, Trionfi said.
Saudi prosecutors have charged 11 people in the case and sought the death penalty for five of them.
The case was brought to court in March this year but since then no details of the proceedings have been released.