July 17, 2019

Kaine Calls On FBI To Open Investigation Into Khashoggi Murder

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, sent a letter calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to open an investigation into Saudi Arabia’s state sponsored execution of Virginia resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following the recommendation made by the United Nations in a report released last month. In the letter, Kaine criticizes the Administration’s inadequate response to Khashoggi’s murder and notes that the UN report mirrors the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies, citing “credible evidence” of high-level Saudi involvement in Khashoggi’s killing. 

“I support the UN report’s recommendation and request that the FBI conduct an investigation into Saudi Arabia’s state sponsored execution of Mr. Khashoggi.  Following the Administration’s failure in February 2019 to make a determination under Section 1263(d) of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 as to the responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder, including by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, this investigation is more important than ever to achieve true accountability and justice for this horrific crime,” Kaine wrote.

Kaine’s letter can be found here and below: 

 

July 17, 2019

 

 

The Honorable Christopher Wray

Federal Bureau of Investigation

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20535-0001

Dear Director Wray:

On June 19, the UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard published a report on her six-month investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi.  In the report, Callamard criticized inaction by the international community, including the United States, despite “credible evidence” of high-level Saudi involvement in the killing and called for the FBI to open an investigation “into the execution of Mr. Khashoggi, if one is not already open, and pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States, as appropriate.”

Mirroring the assessment of U.S intelligence agencies, the UN report finds that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation, of high-level Saudi officials’ involvement - including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - in Mr. Khashoggi’s killing.  Additionally, the report notes that the investigations conducted by Saudi Arabia and Turkey failed to meet international standards regarding unlawful deaths and that the Saudi investigation into the murder was not conducted in good faith, and might amount to obstructing justice.

The report concludes that the killing of Mr. Khashoggi constitutes “an international crime over which other States should claim universal jurisdiction” and calls on Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, and others to “take the necessary measures to establish their competence to exercise jurisdiction under international law over this crime of extrajudicial execution.”  Last month, when President Trump was asked about the specific recommendation for the United States to pursue an FBI investigation, he was non-committal and stated, “I think it’s been heavily investigated.”   

I support the UN report’s recommendation and request that the FBI conduct an investigation into Saudi Arabia’s state sponsored execution of Mr. Khashoggi.  Following the Administration’s failure in February 2019 to make a determination under Section 1263(d) of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 as to the responsibility for Mr. Khashoggi’s murder, including by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, this investigation is more important than ever to achieve true accountability and justice for this horrific crime.  I request written notification no later than August 1, 2019 as to whether this investigation will take place.

 

 

Sincerely,

Tim Kaine

 

 

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