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Fri 22 May 2020 08:14 AM

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Sons of murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi say 'forgive' killers

Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018

Sons of murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi say 'forgive' killers
Salah Khashoggi, the son of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday they "forgive" the killers of their father, an announcement analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicted people on death row.

Khashoggi - a royal family insider turned critic - was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, described as a "rogue" operation by Saudi officials.

His family's pardon could spare the lives of five unnamed people sentenced to death over the murder in a December court ruling that exonerated two top aides to the crown prince.

"On this holy night of this blessed month (of Ramadan)... we the sons of martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce we forgive and pardon those who killed our father," the Washington Post columnist's son Salah Khashoggi said on Twitter.

Saudi authorities did not immediately comment on the legal ramifications of the announcement from Salah, who resides in the kingdom and has denied reports of a financial settlement with the government.

"What this essentially means is that the killers will avoid capital punishment since that is a right the family [under sharia law] has to forgive," Ali Shihabi, a Saudi author and analyst close to the government said on Twitter.

"Other legal procedures by the state continue."

Analyst Nabeel Nowairah also said the family's declaration effectively means the "murderers will not be executed".

Salah has previously said he had "full confidence" in the judicial system, and criticised opponents he said were seeking to exploit the case.

Out of 11 individuals indicted in the case - most of whom remain unnamed - five were sentenced to death, three face jail terms totalling 24 years and the others were acquitted, according to the public prosecutor.

With AFP

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