Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials should be investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi since there is credible evidence they are liable for his death, a U.N. rights investigator said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected the investigator's report as "nothing new".
He added in a tweet: "The report of the rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility."
Khashoggi's death stirred widespread disgust and hurt the image of crown prince, previously admired in the West for pushing to end the kingdom's oil dependence and easing social restrictions including by allowing women to drive.
After the killing some Western executives pulled out of a major investment forum in Riyadh, but big investors have been pushing ahead with deals this year in a sign that an effort by the kingdom to return to business as usual is making some headway.
Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, called on countries to invoke universal jurisdiction for what she called the international
crime and make arrests if individuals' responsibility is proven.
The report, based on a six-month investigation, also calls on the United States to "open an FBI investigation, if one is not already open, and pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States as appropriate."
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Callamard urged states to widen sanctions to include the crown prince and his assets abroad, unless the man seen by many as the de facto Saudi ruler can prove he has no responsibility.
Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding.
His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found.