Transcript for UN investigator Agnes Callamard to probe murders of Halla and Orouba Barakat
At this point, we're outside the prison where the convicted killer is being held, Ahmed Barakat, a distant relative of Halla and orouba who authorities say killed them in a crime of passion, a dispute over money. We were finally about to find out his side of the story. Okay, that was fast. He answered the questions. He did, yes. Ahmed only speaks arabic. Ahmed wrote out his responses. We had a translator read them in the car. You've been convicted of murdering Halla and orouba, did you do it? He just said, I did not kill anyone. In his written responses, Ahmed said he was innocent of everything. If you did it, were you and his answer is, I didn't do it, and when I went to orouba to visit her, I was alone and the cameras did see that. Did anyone tell you to do it, if so, who? His answer is, I don't know anything. Why am I even involved? Ahmed said he had been coerced into a confession, thinking he would get good deal. Ahmed was now fully recanting his initial confession. At this point, we didn't really know what to think. His interview, I still think about that. He had a "Free Syria" bracelet that was taken from the crime scene that still had blood on on his shelf he had a big photo album full of pictures of Halla when she was young. We spoke to confidential sources in the government throughout our investigation who cast a lot of suspicion on the Assad regime in this. But in the end, the FBI provided us a statement that said that the Turkish government had done a thorough investigation, they had elicited a confession from a suspect, and that the FBI had no further information to question the investigation done in Turkey. It's pretty devastating. What does this mean as an American citizen, if I were to travel abroad and something happened to me? Something happened to you? I really hope that our government will take this seriously and realize that there are a lot of people who care about Halla and Dr. Orouba, and they are not forgotten, and we will continue to fight to find justice in their names. I took our findings to congressman David price of north Carolina, who knows the Barakat family, has had his own questions about these murders. You think the trump administration dropped the ball on this? I think this is the administration failing to pursue an important case. The answer is yes. We need to press for an investigation of the trial circumstances. It involves the state department, it involves our diplomacy, and it involves some work with our supposed friends and allies in Turkey. Halla and orouba's case has been in limbo for a number of years. But there is a person at the united nations, Dr. Kalamar, whose specialty is investigating the murders of journalists around the world. What I can tell you is I have received information regarding this case, and in the case of miss and Mrs. Barakat, there are allegations that the work they were doing denouncing the violations by the Syrian government, or indeed by Daesh, may have been the motivation behind their killings. My objective is to determine whether the investigation has met the standards it should meet under international law. Was it effective? Was it impartial? Was it independent? Did it consider all the possible motivations behind the killings? I feel like Halla Barakat is the forgotten American journalist. Experts have said that killing a journalist is the ultimate form of censorship. Maybe by continuing to dig deeper and turn over every rock, somebody will pay attention to what happened to them.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.