Khashoggi’s children ‘pardon’ his killers
5 Saudi govt agents spared death sentence, to pay blood money
Istanbul, May 22: The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have publicly forgiven their father’s killers, sparing five government agents the death penalty.
Salah Khashoggi, the late journalist’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 (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 in the month of Ramzan. According to Saudi law, a pardon from a son of a murder victim serves as a legal reprieve.
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.
Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said Friday “no one” had the right to pardon his murderers. Khashoggi — a royal family insider turned critic — was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, sparking global outcry and dealing a blow to the kingdom’s reputation.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accused of ordering the killing but the kingdom has strongly denied this. 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.
◗ ACCORDING TO Saudi law, a pardon from a son of a murder victim serves as a legal reprieve. The families of the convicts are now liable to pay blood money to Khashoggi’s family
Dubai, May 22: The family of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi announced on Friday they have forgiven his Saudi killers, giving legal reprieve to five government agents who had been sentenced to death for an operation that cast a cloud of suspicion over the kingdom's crown prince.
“We, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father as we seek reward from God Almighty,” wrote one of his sons, Salah Khashoggi, on Twitter. Salah Khashoggi, who lives in Saudi Arabia and has received financial compensation from the royal court for his father’s killing, explained that forgiveness was extended to the killers during the last nights of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in line with Islamic tradition to offer pardons in cases allowed by Islamic law.
The Saudi court’s ruling in December that the killing was not premeditated paved the way for Friday’s announcement by leaving the door open for reprieve. Additionally, the finding was in line with the government's official explanation of Khashoggi’s slaying that he was killed accidentally in a brawl by agents trying to forcibly return him to Saudi Arabia.
The family’s decision to pardon Khashoggi’s killers comes as questions continue to linger over who ultimately ordered the operation and whether his sons have come under pressure.
The trial was widely criticized by rights groups and an independent UN investigator who noted that no senior officials nor anyone in charge of ordering the operation was found guilty.
The independence of the Riyadh criminal court was also brought into question. Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in columns for the Washington Post. He’d been living in exile in the United States for about a year as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversaw a crackdown in Saudi Arabia on human rights activists, writers and critics of the kingdom’s devastating war in Yemen.
■ WE, THE SONS of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father as we seek reward from God Almighty, wrote one of his sons, Salah Khashoggi, on Twitter.