Khashoggi family forgives those who killed their father

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the country's consulate in Istanbul

The family of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi announced Friday they have forgiven his Saudi killers, giving legal reprieve to the five government agents who'd been sentenced to death for an operation that cast a cloud of suspicion over the kingdom's crown prince.

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

The legal outcome of this announcement is not yet clear.

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

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

However, in what was seen as a sham trial, Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death for the murder.

Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, where he had gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding.

Salah, who lives in the kingdom, has denied reports of a financial settlement with the government.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits next to a Saudi flag wearing a keffiyeh
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud's image was tarnished by Jamal Khashoggi's death

In all, 11 people were put on trial in Saudi Arabia over the killing.

USA intelligence agencies, however, say an operation like this could not have happened without his knowledge and the Senate has blamed the crown prince for the murder. Three others were acquitted, according to the public prosecutor.

It sparked immediate claims of a cover-up to protect the prince, who denies involvement in the killing. The killers, sentenced to death, are still likely to face lengthy prison sentences.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom activists hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington to mark the anniversary of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2019.

The remains of Khashoggi, who was once close to the Saudi royal family but became a vocal critic of Mohammed, were never found.

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.

Two of the alleged hit squad had used diplomatic passports, and that the encounter at the consulate was "only possible because of the pretense of government service", she said.

The journalist - who had gone into self-imposed exile in the United States in 2017 - went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 seeking documents to get married to fiancé Hatice Cengiz.

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