Khashoggi's family 'forgives' his killers

Khashoggi family forgives their father's killers

An outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, particularly of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), the elder Khashoggi fled to the U.S. in a self-imposed exile fearing for his life.

The announcement drew anger from Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who said "no one" had the right to pardon his murderers.

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said today they "forgive" the killers of their father, a move analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicts on death row.

Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, allegedly by a 15-man Saudi hit squad who are believed to have dismembered him.

Saudi prosecutors said in December that five unidentified people had been sentenced to death in connection with the murder after a trial in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

Speaking to TRT World, Gulf analyst Giorgio Cafiero expressed scepticism about the statement released by Khashoggi's son, Salah, on Friday morning.

The family of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has declared "forgiveness" for his killers, extending pardons to the accused, who faced execution in Saudi Arabia, as Muslims gear to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The legal outcome of this announcement is not yet clear.

Shalaan Al-Shalaan, the Saudi deputy public prosecutor and spokesman said that the trials, which took place in Riyadh, showed that the killing was not premeditated.

What has Khashoggi's family said?

Khashoggi's son Salah, who lives in Saudi, posted a statement on Twitter early on Friday saying members of his family had made a decision to forgive the killers.

He has also previously criticised "opponents and enemies" of Saudi Arabia who he said had tried to exploit his father's death to undermine the country's leadership.

The verdicts were criticized by human rights groups because of the trial's secrecy.

While Saudi officials maintained that the killing and subsequent dismemberment of his body was a "rogue operation", the state has still tried to brush the event under the carpet. The killers, sentenced to death, are still likely to face lengthy prison sentences.

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.

The journalist was last seen at the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city on October 2, 2018, where he had gone to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding.

The Washington Post claimed that some US-residing family members had received million-dollar homes and monthly stipends of $10,000 as part of a long term settlement.

The kingdom denies the crown prince had any knowledge of the operation.

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.

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