The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on 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, in a case that tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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.