Khashoggi's sons forgive Saudi killers, sparing 5 execution

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2020

The killers were Saudi government agents, dispatched to Turkey on the orders of top advisers to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to Turkish and Saudi prosecutors.

Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, an outspoken advocate for justice for Khashoggi, condemned the statement.

"This is why we, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive and pardon those who participated in the killing of our father".

However, Salah Khashoggi said of the December verdict that "it has been fair to us and that justice has been achieved".

The family of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Friday that they have forgiven those who were convicted of murdering their father in Istanbul two years ago. "I and others will not stop until we get #JusticeForJamal".

There had been reports that Salah Khashoggi, who is a dual US-Saudi citizen, was barred from leaving the Kingdom in the aftermath of his father's death, along with other family members, some of whom are US residents.

Khashoggi, a veteran journalist who contributed columns to The Washington Post, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 when he went to collect documents that would allow him to remarry.

Eleven suspects in all were put on trial in secretive proceedings in the capital Riyadh.

What has Khashoggi's family said?

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Saudi officials say he had no role, although in September 2019 MBS indicated some personal accountability, saying the grisly killing "happened under my watch".

Agnès Callamard, the special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings who has said the 2018 murder was committed at the behest of the Saudi state, said on Friday that the message of forgiveness represented the "first steps towards their eventual release" under Saudi and sharia law.

Another three were given jail terms totalling 24 years, while a further three were acquitted, prosecutors said. The killers, sentenced to death, are still likely to face lengthy prison sentences. His remains have not been found.

Riyadh insists it was a rogue operation, having initially denied that Khashoggi died at all and then claimed that he died accidentally during a brawl.

The December verdict, which was lambasted by rights groups as a travesty of justice, underscored Saudi efforts to draw a line under the crisis as it seeks to reboot its global image ahead of this year's G20 summit in Riyadh.

Riyadh has described the murder as a "rogue" operation, but both the Central Intelligence Agency and a United Nations special envoy have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.

Khashoggi, who was a critic of the Saudi government, had been writing for the Washington Post newspaper and living in the USA before his death.

Khashoggi had been at the consulate to collect paperwork relating to his planned marriage to Cengiz, a Turkish citizen.

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