Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's killers have been forgiven. The five govt agents will not be executed for the murder that they had carried out. The family of slain journalist announced their decision on Friday. The killers had been sentenced to execution.
On Twitter, Salah Khashoggi, one of the sons, said, "We, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father as we seek reward from God Almighty."
According to Salah, forgiveness was extended to the killers during the last nights of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in line with Islamic tradition to offer pardons in cases allowed by Islamic law. He lives in Saudi Arabia and has received financial compensation from the royal court over the killing.
It was ruled in December that the killing was not deliberate and seeing this, the announcement was largely expected. The Government had given an official explanation of Khashoggi's killing stating that the journalist was killed accidentally in a scuffle by agents who were trying to compulsorily return him to Saudi Arabia.
When Khashoggi died; there were reports in the Washington Post about Saudi Arabia's crown prince, which were not in a good taste. These reports were written by Khashoggi just before he died. Crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman oversaw a crackdown in Saudi Arabia on human rights activists, writers and critics of his devastating war in Yemen and due to this; the journalist was living in the United States for about a year.
In the year 2017, about 15 Saudi agents, including a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers and individuals who worked for the crown prince's office, had started for Turkey to meet Khashoggi. The meeting was fixed in Istanbul at the Saudi Consulate and Khashoggi thought that it was an appointment to pick up documents needed to wed his Turkish fiancé.
According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi was dismembered following the meeting and the body has not been found. An audio of the killing was handed over to the CIA by Turkey, which is a rival of Saudi Arabia, as Turkey apparently had the Saudi Consulate bugged.
The journalist's killing had landed prince Mohammed into the soup as it drew a lot of flak. The 34-year-old prince, who has the support of his father King Salman, denies any involvement. U.S. intelligence agencies, however, stated that it was not possible for the prince to not know about such an operation.
Five people were sentenced to execution following the trial. There were some other people who were found guilty for covering up the crime and they were given 24 years in prison combined. About 11 people were put on trial in Saudi Arabia for the killing.
The Saudi prosecutors had given an explanation that Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi agents in an operation, which was planned by the crown prince's top aides at the time, however they were not found guilty in trial.