Khashoggi's family 'forgives' his killers

Riyadh, May 22
The family of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday released a statement forgiving his killers.

The statement was posted to the Twitter account of Salah Khashoggi, one of the late journalist's sons, on Friday, the BBC reported.

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"In this blessed night of the blessed month (of Ramzan) we remember God's saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah," Salah, who lives in the Saudi city of Jeddah, wrote.

"Therefore we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce pardoning those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty."

The journalist, who had gone into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2n 2018 seeking documents to get married to fiance 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.

After offering changing accounts of his disappearance, Saudi authorities eventually submitted he was killed in a botched operation by a team tasked with getting him to return to the country, reports the BBC.

In December 2019, a court sentenced five unnamed men to death for their role in his killing after a secretive trial in Riyadh.

Salah has previously issued statements expressing his confidence in, and support of, the Saudi investigation.

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.

Last year, the Washington Post said in a report that Khashoggi's children had received homes and monthly payments as compensation for the killing of their father.

But Salah, Khashoggi's eldest son, was the only sibling who intended to carry on living in Saudi Arabia, the newspaper said.