National

Aust to look closely at Khashoggi report

By AAP Newswire

Foreign Minister Marise Payne is eager see the details of a UN report saying there is credible evidence Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials are liable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senator Payne says a detailed examination of the report prepared by UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, must come before Australia decides on its next course of action.

"I want to consider that in detail and then to determine steps from Australia's perspective," Senator Payne told ABC's AM on Thursday.

"We are very, very concerned and very distressed about what has happened to Mr Khasoggi and it's outrageous that he was killed in this way in diplomatic premises."

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was a critic of the crown prince, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 by Saudi officials, provoking widespread anger.

In her report, Dr Callamard has called on countries to invoke universal jurisdiction for what she described as an international crime, and make arrests if individual responsibility is proven.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, has rejected the investigator's report as "nothing new".

Taking to Twitter, he said it contained "clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility".

"The rapporteur in the human rights council repeats in her non-binding report what has been published and circulated in the media," he tweeted.

Senator Payne says Australia is disappointed by how Saudi Arabia has dealt with the investigation.

"We're disappointed that the special rapporteur did not receive the cooperation and support that we believe her investigation deserved from Saudi Arabia and some others."