Sons of slain Saudi journalist Khashoggi 'forgive' killers, paving way to pardon

Salah Khashoggi the son of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and his relatives receive mourners at an events hall in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah

In a 99-page report, Callamard said experts found it "inconceivable" that a sophisticated 15-man mission to kill Khashoggi could have happened without Prince Mohammed's knowledge.

"No one has the right to pardon his killers", she wrote on Twitter.

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said today they "forgive" the killers of their father, a move analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicts on death row.

The grisly killing and dismemberment of Khashoggi's body in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in late 2017 as his Turkish fiance waited for him outside drew worldwide condemnation and cast a cloud of suspicion over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Speaking to TRT World, Gulf analyst Giorgio Cafiero expressed scepticism about the statement released by Khashoggi's son, Salah, on Friday morning.

A son of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside Riyadh's consulate in Turkey in 2018, on Friday said he and his brothers have forgiven his father's killers. "I and others will not stop until we get #JusticeForJamal", Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz tweeted.

Salah, who lives in the kingdom, has denied reports of a financial settlement with the government.

Khashoggi's son Salah, who lives in Saudi, posted a statement on Twitter early on Friday saying members of his family had chose to forgive the killers.

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Eleven suspects in all were put on trial in secretive proceedings in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

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.

Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of Saudi Arabia's crown prince in columns for the Washington Post.

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.

However, it's not clear if the statement will hold any legal standing in the treatment of those in Saudi Arabia sentenced to death over the killing. The family has denied this claim.

The trial was widely criticized by rights groups and an independent United Nations investigator who noted that no senior officials nor anyone in charge of ordering the operation was found guilty. The Saudi government initially denied any knowledge of the killing and later called it a rogue operation.

Khashoggi, who was a critic of the Saudi government, had been writing for the Washington Post newspaper and living in the U.S. before his death.

"All of us who, over the last 20 months, have reported on the gruesome execution of Jamal Khashoggi, and absence of accountability for his killing, expected this", she said in a Facebook post and added that Saudi authorities were "playing out what they hope will be the final act in their well-rehearsed parody of justice".

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