AFP: Around a year and a half after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, his sons have declared that they “forgive” the murderers – and thus prevent them from being executed. On the occasion of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, Kashoggi’s son Salah wrote on Twitter on Friday: “On this holy night of this blessed month (…) we, the sons of the martyr Jamal Kashoggi, announce that we forgive and forgive those who killed our father “.
The sons’ statement resulted in “that the murderers will escape the death penalty,” said Saudi Arabian author and analyst Ali Schihabi, who is close to the government in Riyadh, on Twitter. After all, according to Islamic law, it is the privilege of the victims’ families to forgive the perpetrators. “The state’s other legal processes will continue,” added Schihabi.
Analyst Nabil Nowairah also said that the sons’ initiative meant in fact that “the killers would not be executed”. The Saudi authorities initially did not comment on the consequences of Kashoggi’s sons’ declaration.
Salah Kashoggi lives in the arch-conservative kingdom and said he had “full confidence” in Saudi Arabia’s judicial system. He has rejected a report that he has made a financial agreement with the government. The Washington Post, for which Jamal Kashoggi had worked, reported in April 2019 that Salah Kashoggi and his siblings had received multi-million dollar homes and were receiving thousands of dollars a month from the Saudi Arabian authorities.
The 59-year-old government critic Khashoggi was murdered in October 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul by a posted command of 15 Saudi Arabian agents. His body was dismembered and has not been found to date. Under international pressure, after weeks of denials, Riyadh finally admitted that the government critic had been “killed in an unsuccessful operation to arrest”.
The case had put Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under massive international pressure. Both a United Nations special envoy and the U.S. intelligence agency CIA concluded that the Crown Prince was directly involved in Kashoggi’s murder. This is vehemently rejected by Riyadh.
In the case, eleven suspects were brought to justice in Saudi Arabia. Five of them were sentenced to death in December and three others were sentenced to 24 years in prison. The remaining defendants were acquitted.