The author of a United Nations report that concluded the state of Saudi Arabia was responsible for murdering Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday slammed Joe Biden for allowing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to escape justice.
Agnes Callamand, who was U.N. special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings, added her voice to a chorus of outrage after a judge in Washington dismissed a case against MBS, as he is known.
Khashoggi’s fiancee said she was ‘heartbroken’ by the decision, which was aided by the ‘Biden administration’s shameless decision’ to give MBS a ‘free pass’
It came after the State Department ruled that the crown prince was entitled to ‘sovereign immunity.
‘One more betrayal from those in power,’ said Callamand, who now heads Amnesty International, in a Twitter thread.
‘So many contributed to the impunity, from Saudi Arabia itself, to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, to Joe Biden.
Agnes Callamard was the U.N.’s special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings who authored a report demanding action against Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for his role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
She blasted Joe Biden on Tuesday for his role in allowing MBS (seen here greeting the U.S. president in Jeddah in July) off the hook. ‘One more betrayal from those in power,’ she said
‘I am not mentioning all the governments, and the heads of businesses, sporting and cultural events who courted, sold and bought from Saudi Arabia.
‘This is the reality of our world. Press freedom and human rights betrayed. Repeatedly.
‘But still we stand. And still we fight. And we are not defeated. We know the truth.
‘One episode in our struggle for justice for Jamal may have concluded but the battle is not over.’
Khashoggi, a US resident, was never seen again after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Saudi officials are believed to have killed him and dismembered his body, before removing his remains in trash bags.
US intelligence agencies concluded that MBS himself approved the operation.
Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz railed against the decision to throw out the case.
‘I’m completely heartbroken by the court’s decision,’ she said a day later.
‘And as I’ve repeatedly stated before, I’m extremely disappointed by the hypocrisy of some politicians, who say one thing and do the opposite.
‘Needless to say, I’m very disappointed by the judge’s dismissal order, aided by the Biden administration’s shameless decision to give a brual murderer a free pass, based not just on a blatant lie, but also on a deliberate deception that was concocted to avoid accountability.’
With no prospect of a Saudi court pursuing the case, she and DAWN, a group that promotes human rights in the Middle East, had brought a lawsuit in a Washington D.C. court.
Khashoggi was not seen again after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018
His ex-fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, brought a case against MBS and other Saudi officials in Washington D.C. district court, but it was dismissed on Tuesday
Judge John Bates, a district court judge in Washington D.C., said his hands were tied as he dismissed the case against MBS on Tuesday. He expressed ‘uneasiness’
Cengiz said: ‘And as I’ve repeatedly stated before, I’m extremely disappointed by the hypocrisy of some politicians, who say one thing and do the opposite’
But on Tuesday, District Court Judge John Bates said that although allegations were ‘credible’ he had no choice but to dismiss the case.
He pointed out that he had to respect the State Department’s ruling that as prime minister MBS had ‘sovereign immunity’.
‘Despite the court’s uneasiness, then, with both the circumstances of bin Salman’s appointment and the credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, the United States has informed the court that he is immune, and bin Salman is therefore “entitled to head of state immunity . . . while he remains in office,’ he wrote in his opinion.
Khashoggi, a journalist who had been critical of the Saudi government, walked into the consulate on October 2, 2018, to collect documents that would allow him to get married. He never walked out.
Audio tape released believed to be from Khashoggi’s Apple Watch captured his dying screams as he was allegedly dragged from the Saudi consul general’s office to a table in a next-door study, injected with an ‘unknown drug’ and surgically dismembered.
A team of 15 Saudi agents had flown to Turkey to meet Khashoggi inside the consulate.
They included a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers and individuals who worked for the crown prince’s office.
Turkish officials allege Mr Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw.
Biden met with MBS in the Saudi city of Jeddah in July, as he faced pressure to increase global oil production and bring down gas prices.
The meeting went ahead even though Biden as a candidate had promised to make Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ for its role in the murder.
He later said he was ‘straightforward and direct’ with the crown prince in telling him the killing was unacceptable.
Yet weeks later, the State Department effectively ended any sort of U.S. prosecution.
It said in its filing that it ‘takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi.’
‘From the earliest days of this administration, the United States government has expressed its grave concerns regarding Saudi agents´ responsibility for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder,’ it said.
However, it concluded that ‘as the sitting head of a foreign government’ the crown prince enjoyed head-of-state immunity from the jurisdiction of US courts.
He was appointed prime minister only six days before that decision.
MBS has denied ordering the killing, but has admitted it happened ‘under my watch.’