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 convicted of his murder who'd been sentenced to execution.
The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday that they "forgive" the killers of their father.
Mr Khashoggi, a journalist for The Washington Post, visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in 2018 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.
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 Arabia announced at the end of previous year that five people have been sentenced to death for taking part in Khashoggi's murder.
'His ambush and heinous murder does not have a statute of limitations and no one has the right to pardon his killers.
"We affirm our confidence in the Saudi judiciary at all levels", Salah Khashoggi said at the time, describing the trial as a "fair" one.
"We must assume that the family members of Jamal Khashoggi were under much pressure from Saudi officials to make this move".
"There were reports that the family was paid blood money by the Saudi Government - which were denied by Mr Khashoggi's son Salah", he said. His remains have not been found.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud's image was tarnished by Jamal Khashoggi's death
Citing sharia law, Shihabi said Khashoggi's family reserved the right to "demand financial compensation from the murderers". The Saudi government initially denied any knowledge of the killing and later called it a rogue operation.
The verdicts were criticized by human rights groups because of the trial's secrecy.
Saudi officials say he had no role, although in September 2019 MBS indicated some personal accountability, saying the grisly killing "happened under my watch".
An outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, particularly of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), the elder Khashoggi fled to the USA in a self-imposed exile fearing for his life.
After initially offering shifting accounts of what transpired, and under intense global and Turkish pressure, Saudi prosecutors eventually settled on the explanation that Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi agents in an operation masterminded by two of the crown prince's top aides at the time.
Saudi prosecutors had said deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri oversaw Khashoggi's killing and the US Treasury had claimed the royal court's media czar Saud al-Qahtani was "part of the planning and execution" of the operation that led to the murder.
Eleven people were charged in the case, including three who were acquitted.
The grisly killing, which took place as his Turkish fiance waited for him outside the building, drew worldwide condemnation of Prince Mohammed.