The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have publicly forgiven their father’s killers, sparing five government agents from death penalty.
Salah Khashoggi, the late Saudi critic’s eldest son, posted the pardon in a tweet on Friday. “On this virtuous night of (Ramadan), we recall the words of God Almighty … whoever pardons and makes reconciliations, his reward is from Allah,” read the statement, referring to Laylit el Qader, or the Night of Power, considered by Islam to be the holiest night of the year.
“So we, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we have pardoned (those) who killed our father,” the family added in the statement. Muslim governments typically issue pardons on the month of Ramadan.
According to Saudi law, a pardon from a son of a murder victim serves as a legal reprieve. Last December, five government agents convicted of Khashoggi’s murder at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018 were sentenced to death. Three other people allegedly involved in the case were given prison sentences.
Overall, 11 people were put on trial for Khashoggi’s murder, which sparked a global outcry and dealt a blow to the kingdom’s reputation.
The families of the convicts are now liable to pay blood money to Khashoggi’s family. If they can’t afford to make the payment, the state can pay instead, in addition to state money already given to the family.
It’s rumoured that last year the family received millions of US dollars in cash and assets as compensation after the killing.
Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée rejects family forgiveness offer to killers
Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée has said “no-one has the right to pardon his killers” after his son said he forgave them.
Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish citizen, tweeted that the “heinous murder does not have a statue of limitations”.
Jamal was killed inside his country’s consulate while getting the docs to complete our marriage. The killers came from Saudi with premeditation to lure, ambush & kill him. Nobody has the right to pardon the killers. We will not pardon the killers nor those who ordered the killing
— Hatice Cengiz / خديجة (@mercan_resifi) May 22, 2020
What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?
The journalist – who had gone into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017 – went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 seeking documents to get married to fiancé Hatice Cengiz.
Investigators believe that he was murdered and dismembered while she waited outside, but his remains have never been recovered.
Saudi officials initially claimed he had left the building alive and their account of events changed several times in the weeks after his disappearance.
Details of his gruesome killing shocked the world, and a subsequent UN report said there was credible evidence that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other high-level Saudi officials were individually liable
The prince has denied any involvement in the murder, but has said he took “full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government”.