UN Kashoggi murder report: 'Most gruesome thing we've heard in modern history'

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any official involvement in the grisly killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside its consulate in Istanbul last October.

Now the United Nations (UN) has released a report after a six-month investigation, which puts the blame for the murder squarely on the kingdom.

Warning: this article contains disturbing material.

Read: Dissapearance and death of Saudi journalist puzzling

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions says there is credible evidence to warrant an international criminal investigation into senior Saudi officials.

She says such an investigation should include Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS.

Foreign editor at Independent Newspapers, Shannon Ebrahim, summarises the findings of the report.

It is basically saying it was a premeditated murder. The official version of people around the Prince had been that it was an accidental murder.

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

They've actually been able to get hold of recordings of what happened in the days before he (Khashoggi) was killed and the minutes before and during and it really is grisly reading.

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

The report claims that the plan to dismember Khashoggi's body was already in place before he even entered the consulate.

The recordings then detail exactly how this plan is executed in real time.

A senior intelligence officer had asked the question, has the sacrificial animal entered the building yet?

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

They had discussed how they were going to carry out the body, because the body was heavy. They had even said that the joints would be separated. What was heard on the recordings is obviously some kind of asphyxiation with a bag, a saw was heard...

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

He was obviously injected with some type of drug because they didn't hear much from him and they didn't hear much talking as this was carried out.

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

Ebrahim says the evidence presented in the report is damning and the murder could not have been carried out without the knowledge and sanction of the Crown Prince.

It is absolutely the most gruesome thing I think in modern history that we've heard.

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

There is a trial of eleven or twelve people in Saudi Arabia but the feeling is that trial is basically a mock trial because if this is sanctioned from the top, what real justice is there going to be?

Shannon Ebrahim, Foreign editor - Independent Newspapers

Ebrahim says Saudi Arabia's continued torture and murder of dissidents puts the spotlight on South Africa's response as a country that says it has a human rights policy.

Hear the full conversation below:


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