The German federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe told The Associated Press that it received the complaint from Paris-based Reporters Without Borders on Monday.
Spokesman Markus Schmitt stated he couldn’t speculate on how much time it would take to consider the complaint, which is over 500 pages long.
“I can only state that we will obviously evaluate the complaint in line with this law,” he said.
The criticism, relying partly on a recently declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday, explains five primary suspects: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his close advisor Saud Al-Qahtani and three other high heeled Saudi officials, Reporters Without Borders said.
Additionally, it details the instances of 34 other journalists, alleging they are”are victims of widespread and systematic attacks for political reasons,” Reporters Without Borders said.
The suspects were identified due to their”executive or organizational obligation at Khashoggi’s killing, in addition to their involvement in creating a state policy to attack and silence journalists,” the team said in a statement.
From the U.S. report, intelligence officers stopped short of saying the crown prince dictated Khashoggi’s slaying at Turkey in October 2018, but described him as having”complete control” over the kingdom’s intelligence organizations and said it would have been highly unlikely for a surgery like the killing to have been carried out with no approval.
Saudia Arabia’s U.N. ambassador, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, on Monday contested the report, stating it didn’t come”anywhere close” to proof of any allegations against the crown prince.
Saudi Arabia’s embassies in Berlin and Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Reporters Without Borders criticism.
Under the legal system, anyone can file an allegation with prosecutors and there is an obligation for them to start looking into the accusations. It’s all up to them to determine then whether they justify launching a full investigation.
German law permits prosecutors to maintain universal jurisdiction in crimes against humanity.
In that situation, however, the defendant was residing in Germany.
The Khashoggi case has no clear connections to the country. Although that is not necessary, German law states that prosecutors can diminish to engage in a situation below the principle of international jurisdiction if there’s absolutely not any reasonable expectation that the defendant could be brought to Germany for trial. Germany does not permit trial in absentia.
Such complaints are not infrequent in Germany, and are usually rejected. In a widely watched case in 2007, as an example, federal prosecutors rejected a complaint by a New York set against former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others alleging they either ordered, aided or neglected to avoid the torture of military prisoners.
Nonetheless, Reporters Without Borders said it had”determined that the German judiciary would be the best suited system to get such a criticism.”
“While these serious offenses against journalists remain unabated, we call on the German prosecutor to take a stand and start an investigation into the crimes we’ve revealed.”
The U.S. document released Friday reported a 15-member Saudi team, including seven members of the prince’s elite personal protective group, arrived in Istanbul, though it says it’s unclear how far ahead Saudi officials had made a decision to damage him.
Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate to pick up files necessary for his wedding. Once inside, he died at the hands of more than a dozen Saudi intelligence and security officers and others who’d assembled before his arrival. Surveillance cameras had monitored his path along with those of his alleged killers in Istanbul in the hours before his killing.
A Turkish bug planted at the consulate allegedly captured the sound of a forensic watched, operated with a Saudi colonel who was likewise a forensics specialist, dismembering Khashoggi’s body within an hour of his entering the building. The whereabouts of the remains is unknown.
Aside from the crown prince and his adviser, the complaint names Saudi Arabi’s former deputy head of intellect Ahmad Mohammed Asiri; Mohammad Al-Otaibi, the Consul General in Istanbul at the time of the murder; and intelligence officer Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb.