In a thorough and damning report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi released Wednesday, United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard found that Khashoggi was “the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing” that was likely orchestrated by top officials in the Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Evidence points to the 15-person mission to execute Mr. Khashoggi requiring significant government coordination, resources, and finances,” Callamard wrote. “Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the crown prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched.”
On top of the 101-page report’s (pdf) conclusion that the Saudi kingdom is responsible for the killing, Callamard’s findings also provided “chilling” new details of the final moments leading to Khashoggi’s murder last year.
According to Callamard—who listened to audio recordings provided by Turkish authorities—Saudi agents Maher Mutreb and Dr. Salah Tubaigy discussed how they would dismember and dispose of Khashoggi’s body just minutes before he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage papers.
“Joints will be separated,” Tubaigy told Mutreb, according to Callamard’s report. “First time I cut on the ground. If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished.”
Mutreb described Khashoggi as a “sacrificial animal,” according to audio obtained by Callamard.
“Assessments of the recordings by intelligence officers in Turkey and other countries suggest that Mr. Khashoggi could have been injected with a sedative and then suffocated using a plastic bag” after he entered the consulate, Callamard wrote.
Khashoggi’s remains have yet to be found, and—despite the evidence implicating top Saudi officials in the killing—the Trump administration has yet to blame the Saudi kingdom.
As Common Dreams reported last November, Trump publicly smeared Khashoggi with Saudi government talking points and warned that breaking relations with the kingdom over the journalist’s murder would cause oil prices to rise.
Callamard said her findings, which are the product of a five-month probe, demand further investigation into the Saudi crown prince and other officials who may have played a role in the murder of Khashoggi.
The report also calls on the U.S. government to launch an “FBI investigation into the execution of Mr. Khashoggi… and pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States, as appropriate.”
WATCH: CNN displays the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause as Trump rambles about it being ‘phony’
Two days after intense pressure forced President Donald Trump to back down from his plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his resort in Doral, Florida, the president dismissed the Constitution's anti-corruption clause—which his plan would have violated—as "phony."
"You people, with this phony Emoluments Clause," Trump told reporters at a White House press conference on Monday, responding to allegations that hosting the meeting of foreign leaders at his own property would be a conflict of interest.
Pompeo says Trump is ‘fully prepared’ to take military action against turkey — who is a NATO ally
Speaking to CNBC’s Wilfred Frost this Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Trump is ready to take military action against Turkey for its incursion into northeast Syria in the event that such action is "needed."
“We prefer peace to war,” Pompeo said on Closing Bell. “But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
Pompeo declined to give specifics, saying that he doesn't want to "get out in front of the president’s decision about whether to take the awesome undertaking of using America’s military might," adding that economic and diplomatic "powers" could also be used.
WATCH: Ben Carson thanks God for Trump in bizarre prayer — and then asks Him to ‘Keep America Great’
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday opened up the White House cabinet meeting with a bizarre prayer that explicitly thanked God for the existence of President Donald Trump.
Carson began his prayer with a standard invocation thanking God for "the blessings that you have bestowed upon this country."
After that, though, Carson gave God a thumbs-up for the work He's done in putting Trump in the White House.
"We thank You for President Trump, who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism," Carson said. "We ask you give him strength to endure and wisdom to lead and to recognize you as the sovereign of the universe, with the solution to everything."