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A year after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, several questions remain unanswered

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WATCH: Timeline of events since Jamal Khashoggi's murder – Oct 2, 2019

On Oct. 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi died inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The death prompted outrage around the world, with governments and human rights organizations calling for those involved to be held accountable.

But 365 days later, there are few answers on exactly how the Washington Post columnist was killed and what repercussions those responsible will face — if any.

READ MORE: Vigil held at Saudi consulate in Istanbul 1 year after Khashoggi’s death

What investigations following the killing found

An independent investigator for the United Nations, Agnes Callamard, found in June that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was to blame for the murder. An investigation from the CIA landed on the same conclusion over the murder of the journalist, who was in self-imposed exile in the U.S. while writing critically about the prince.

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Callamard has been vocal in her criticism of the prince. In an interview with Reuters, she said the prince is taking steps to prevent himself from being held accountable.

WATCH: Khashoggi’s fiancée speaks about life following his murder

Click to play video: '‘I thought I would become Jamal’s wife. Instead I became the last witness before a murder’: Khashoggi’s fiancé' ‘I thought I would become Jamal’s wife. Instead I became the last witness before a murder’: Khashoggi’s fiancé
‘I thought I would become Jamal’s wife. Instead I became the last witness before a murder’: Khashoggi’s fiancé – Oct 2, 2019

“He is creating a distance between himself, he is exonerating himself from direct criminal responsibility in the killing. He is creating layers and layers and layers of actors and institutions, which are protecting him from his direct accountability for the killing,” she said.

The kingdom has rejected her exhaustive report on the case by alleging it contained unexplained “prejudice and bias.”

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based investigation also resulted in limited accountability, with President Donald Trump refusing to take the matter up.

READ MORE: ‘Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!’ — Trump on Saudi prince’s role in Khashoggi murder

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In November 2018, following reports of the CIA findings, Trump said in a statement: “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

“The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region,” he added.

Who was held accountable, and who wasn’t

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied that the crown prince ordered the killing. After the murder, Saudi Arabia said it would try 11 people, including five who are facing the death penalty. Few details about the case have been released, as the trial is taking place behind closed doors.

Earlier this week, the prince reiterated to CBS’ 60 Minutes that he did not order the writer’s killing but said he takes “responsibility.”

WATCH: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince says he bears ‘full responsibility’ of Khashoggi killing

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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince denies ordering Khashoggi killing, but says he bears ‘full responsibility’ – Sep 29, 2019

“When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials working for the Saudi government, as a leader, I must take responsibility,” he said.

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“This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.”

Saudi Arabia has faced ramifications from other countries. The U.S. Treasury has placed sanctions on 17 Saudi individuals, and a Senate resolution blamed the prince for Khashoggi’s death.

READ MORE: G20 leaders welcome Saudi prince despite Yemen and Khashoggi murder criticism

In November 2018, Canada also levelled sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals linked to the murder. Despite calls from advocates, Canada has not cancelled its arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Trump also declined to stop arms deals to Saudi Arabia.

Callamard has called for states to widen sanctions to include the crown prince and his assets abroad — unless he can prove he is not responsible.

What we still don’t know

In the year following Khashoggi’s death, numerous reports have emerged detailing what may have happened inside the consulate. However, many claims were refuted and little evidence was offered.

It’s still unclear what happened to Khashoggi’s body, since it was never found. One report from Turkish intelligence officials suggests the body was burned, while another says it could have been dissolved in acid.

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Callamard has called on the United Nations to form an investigatory body that helps hold power to account in instances when journalists and human rights advocates are targeted, the Guardian reported. She also urged the UN to hold a session on press freedom next year when the G20 meeting is held in Saudi Arabia, but it’s unclear whether those steps will be taken.

WATCH: State responsible for Khashoggi’s death, UN investigative report finds

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State responsible for Khashoggi’s death: Investigative report – Jun 26, 2019

For now, Callamard said the UN has failed to play a “meaningful role” in bringing justice to the Khashoggi case.

It’s also unclear what types of conversations have occurred between Saudi officials and Khashoggi’s family.

On Tuesday, his eldest son, Salah Khashoggi, wrote on Twitter that he had “full confidence in the kingdom’s court in achieving justice for those who have murdered my father.”

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He added: “I will remain like Jamal Khashoggi loyal to my nation and its leadership.”

READ MORE: Amal Clooney says Trump attacks on media make reporters ‘vulnerable’ to abuse

Meanwhile, Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has been much more critical of the kingdom.

“I want those in power to be held accountable for their action,” she said during a vigil on Tuesday.

In an opinion piece for the Guardian published on the anniversary of Khashoggi’s death, Cengiz called out Saudi Arabia and world leaders for their silence.

“My journey over the past 12 months has told me one thing: the actions of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, have no political consequences, in his home country or abroad,” she wrote.

— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press

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