What chance of the truth?

While Callamard's request for an international criminal investigation has so far not gained much traction, Khashoggi's murder is still a live feature of international diplomacy and U.S.-Saudi relations.

"This crime and this report will always be there on the shelf, will always haunt Saudi Arabia and will always be there to be used in times of crises with Saudi Arabia," Farouk said. "But beyond that, for the time being, if we are expecting concrete action from the UN, it will not happen."

Callamard said that although the Saudi trial is flawed, she believes we will reach a "definitive" and "credible" truth, but "justice for Jamal must take other dimensions."

That means welcoming new evidence from journalists, intelligence agencies and government; directing sanctions at much higher elements within the state; celebrating the values Khashoggi died for and strengthening protections for journalists.

UN human rights expert Agnes Callamard (photo: Getty Images/AFP/F. Coffrini)
UN human rights expert Callamard said that although the Saudi trial is flawed, she believes we will reach a "definitive" and "credible" truth, but "justice for Jamal must take other dimensions." That means welcoming new evidence from journalists, intelligence agencies and government; directing sanctions at much higher elements within the state; celebrating the values Khashoggi died for – and strengthening protections for journalists

Although there have been signs of a thaw in relations since Riyadh's Western allies rallied to support Saudi Arabia against what it called Iranian attacks on its oil facilities in September, relations are still rocky.

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On Thursday, a Saudi attempt to block a UN Human Rights Council investigation into Yemen war atrocities was voted down, despite heavy lobbying.

The U.S. Congress has passed several measures denouncing the Saudi leadership, but President Donald Trump has vetoed legislation to block arms sales and withdraw support for the war in Yemen in order to maintain a strategic partner against Iran.

Germany has extended a freeze on Saudi arms sales prompted by the killing, but has announced it will restart joint police training, while it also joined the UK and France in expressing "full solidarity” in blaming Iran for recent attacks.

For Callamard, Khashoggi's legacy lays in his inspiration of young Saudi critics and how his death has tarnished the reformist image MbS has tried to cultivate.

"His reputation as the modernist king or prince has been uncovered for what it is, a very empty shell at the end of the day," Callamard said. "The emperor is naked and the servants will be increasingly speaking out."

Twenty-six journalists have been killed in the year since Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi's murder on 2 October 2018, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Tom Allinson

© Deutsche Welle 201

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