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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi -- a royal family insider turned critic -- was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, in a case that triggered international outrage Photo: AFP/File

Sons of murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi say they 'forgive' killers

By Yasin AKGUL

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday they "forgive" the killers of their father, an announcement analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicted people on death row.

Khashoggi -- a royal family insider turned critic -- was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, in a case that tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

His family's pardon could spare the lives of five unnamed people sentenced to death over the murder in a December court ruling that exonerated two top aides to the crown prince.

"On this holy night of this blessed month (of Ramadan)... we the sons of martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce we forgive and pardon those who killed our father," the Washington Post columnist's son Salah Khashoggi said on Twitter.

Saudi authorities did not immediately comment on the legal ramifications of the announcement from Salah, who resides in the kingdom and has denied reports of a financial settlement with the government.

"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. "Other legal procedures by the state continue."

Analyst Nabeel Nowairah also said the family's declaration effectively means the "murderers will not be executed".

Salah has previously said he had "full confidence" in the judicial system, and criticized opponents he said were seeking to exploit the case.

The Washington Post reported last year 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.

Out of 11 individuals indicted in the case -- most of whom remain unnamed -- five were sentenced to death, three face jail terms totalling 24 years and the others were acquitted, according to the public prosecutor.

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 international image ahead of this year's G20 summit in Riyadh.

The murder involved 15 Saudi agents sent from Riyadh, Ankara said.

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

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old critic of the crown prince, was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, according to Turkish officials. His remains have not been found.

Saudi prosecutors had said deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri oversaw Khashoggi's killing and the U.S. Treasury had claimed the royal court's media czar Saud al-Qahtani was "part of the planning and execution" of the operation that led to the murder.

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.

Both aides were part of Prince Mohammed's tight-knit inner circle and were formally sacked over the killing, but only Assiri appeared in the court hearings, according to Western sources.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Justice, the Saudi way....almost sounds like Japan, pay compensation and watch things disappear!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yubaru.... That is exactly what has happened .... Compensation or Blood money is paid..

I’m sure it was an enormous sum, the Khashoggi family is already one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia. Jamal’s father was the famous arms dealer in the 70’s and 80’s.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Money talks and justice can be bought.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Who could have seen this coming?

Threats and possibly lots of money go a long way in Saudi Arabia!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A predictable story arc allowing the butchers to "live happily ever after ( prince "saw-bones" ordained the pay out of blood money)", but MBS won't be able to buy himself a pardon from his god, even as "the jolly good fellow" is forgiven and welcomed back by the "international community" of oil-addicts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would't have been justice either to hang soldiers that were only doing a job their government ordered them to do.

I’m sure it was an enormous sum, the Khashoggi family is already one of the richest families 

Precisely. They don't care about money, they took a gift out of tradition but even if that sounds a lot to you, it's a token for them. But they probably got some arrangement : in exchange of them not insisting on justice, the regime lets the rest of the family live in peace and doesn't fear ending up like Jamal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder how much getting chopped up into little pieces is worth these days..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kashoggi was muslim brotherhood activist and a danger to the Saudi regime. Just labelling him a "journalist" is a grossly misleading. But that is the fake media for you.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Just labelling him a "journalist" is a grossly misleading. 

That's a perspective. But journalist was his job, what he got paid to do.

 fake media for you.

'fake media' is another term used by the global alt right to identify outlets that present perspectives different from theirs. What would an example of 'not fake' media be, in your country or anywhere in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's right now. Michael Jackson paid $X million to a family to drop child abuse allegations on him, OJ Simpson paid sports hero dollars to jurers to let him off the hook, Saddam Hussein paid $B to families of the victims of the USS Stark attack in 1987, Moammar Qaddafy paid $X million to survivors of his terrorism shenanigans in order to get UN sanctions off of Libya, and now this. Money talks.

'Big money goes around the world' - RUSH

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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