Jamal Khashoggi's Fiancee Says "No One Has Right" To Pardon His Killers

Elias Hubbard
May 22, 2020

The family of the brutally slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi announced a pardon for those involved in the killing in an act of forgiveness during Ramadan, the month of fasting, prayer, and reflection observed by the Muslim community.

"If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah", Khashoggi's son Salah tweeted, citing a verse from the Koran on forgiveness.

The Saudi court's ruling in December that the killing was not premeditated paved the way for Friday's announcement by leaving the door open for reprieve.

The family's decision to pardon Khashoggi's killers comes as questions continue to linger over who ultimately ordered the operation and whether his sons have come under pressure.

A Saudi court sentenced the five alleged killers to death in December after trials held in near-secrecy.

Saudi officials have said the killing was part of a "rogue operation".

An outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, particularly of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), the elder Khashoggi fled to the U.S. in a self-imposed exile fearing for his life.

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.

Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz also condemned the pardon, tweeting: "Nobody has the right to pardon the killers".

"Nobody has the right to pardon the killers".

He said the country's rulers might be attempting to deal with the issue of Khashoggi's killing in order to more easily engage with democratic nations.

The Saudi prosecutor had previously said that Qahtani, a former high-profile Saudi royal adviser, had discussed Khashoggi's activities before he entered the Saudi consulate with the team which went on to hill him.

The grisly killing, which took place as Khashoggi's fiancee waited for him outside the consulate, drew global condemnation of Prince Mohammed.

Riyadh has described the murder as a "rogue" operation, but both the Central Intelligence Agency and a United Nations special envoy have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.

That finding was in line with the Saudi government's official explanation of Khashoggi's slaying, which has been called into question internationally. The names of those found guilty were not disclosed by the government.

Saudi Arabia announced at the end of previous year that five people have been sentenced to death for taking part in Khashoggi's murder.

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

In 2019, there were reports that the Khashoggi family's silence had been bought with offers of life-changing amounts of money.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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