UN judicial expert in Turkey to probe Khashoggi murder

Agnes Callemard is the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (AFP Photo/MARVIN RECINOS)

Ankara (AFP) - A UN judicial expert investigating the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi met two senior ministers on the first day of her visit to Turkey Monday.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, met Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and, later Monday, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul.

Callamard is in Turkey until Saturday for meetings with senior politicians and officials, including Istanbul's chief prosecutor. Ankara has been pressing for an international inquiry into the killing murder.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and Saudi regime critic, was murdered as he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Riyadh, after denying the killing for two weeks, finally described it as a "rogue" operation and arrested a number of senior Saudi officials.

But the murder tipped the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises. And nearly four months on, Khashoggi's body has still not been recovered.

Turkish authorities have called for an international probe into the killing, complaining of what it says was Saudi Arabia's failure to cooperate in the investigation.

"Met with @AgnesCallamard, #UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, who is in #Turkey to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter, sharing a picture from his meeting in Ankara.

In an interview with Turkish media last week, Cavusoglu said of the Khashoggi case: "We believe this case should be brought to the international arena. It is time for an international probe."

Turkish officials accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of having orchestrated the killing -- an allegation the Saudi authorities vehemently deny.

Earlier this month, the trial opened in Saudi Arabia of 11 men accused of involvement in Khashoggi's murder. The attorney general is seeking the death penalty for five of the defendants.

During her mission, Callamard is due to meet with Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

burs-fo/jj/pvh