Khashoggi family ‘forgives’ his killers

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2020

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday that they "forgive" the killers of their father.

The family of the journalist - who was an outspoken critic of Saudi royals before his grisly murder at Riyadh's embassy in Istanbul in October 2018 - signaled in December that they would not oppose the verdicts handed out to those implicated in the case.

"Therefore, we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty" he added.

"What this essentially means is that the killers will avoid capital punishment since that is a right the family (under sharia law) has to forgive", Ali Shihabi, a Saudi author and analyst close to the government said on Twitter.

The Washington Post reported in April that Khashoggi's children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.

Salah rejected the report, denying discussing a financial settlement with the Saudi government.

Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over Khashoggi's murder last December.

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Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building, while seeking to shift blame for his death on a botched rendition operation carried out by rogue agents.

After offering shifting accounts of what transpired, and under intense global and Turkish pressure, the kingdom eventually settled on the explanation that Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi agents in an operation masterminded by two of the crown prince's top aides, who have since been removed from their posts.

The murder caused a global uproar and tarnishing the reputation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with some Western governments, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, alleging he had ordered the killing. His remains have not been found.

Media captionMohammed bin Salman is asked: "Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?"

Qahtani was investigated but not indicted "due to insufficient evidence" and Assiri was charged, but eventually acquitted on the same grounds, according to the public prosecutor.

Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of the crown prince in multiple columns for the Washington Post and had been living in exile for about a year, fearing he would be detained if he returned to Saudi Arabia as part of a wider crackdown on writers, activists and critics.

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