JEDDAH & MAKKAH: The family of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have forgiven their father’s killers, his son Salah wrote in a message posted on Twitter on Friday.
“On this virtuous night of this holy month, we recall what God Almighty said in his holy book: ‘The repayment of bad actions, is one equivalent to it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, his reward lies with God. He does not love the unjust.’
“Thus, we, sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father — may he rest in peace — for the sake of God Almighty, hopefully seeking reward with the Almighty.”
Khashoggi was killed in Oct. 2018 while he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. In Dec. 2019, five people were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Three others were given prison terms totaling 24 years “for their role in covering up this crime and violating the law.”
In accordance with Saudi law, the forgiveness offered by the Khashoggi family does not erase the convictions of those found guilty, but it means those sentenced to death will now be spared.
Legal adviser Dr. Mohammed Mahmoud said a royal decree states that the punishment for convicted killers forgiven by their victim’s family shall be five years in jail if the killing was intentional, and half that term if it was not.
“Accordingly, the perpetrators who were found to be involved in the premeditated murder of (Khashoggi) will face a five-year prison sentence….as a result of committing this crime,” he added.
Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said: “It is their (Khashoggi’s children) right to forgive their father’s killer."
He added that the political dimensions of the Khashoggi case continue to have ramifications far beyond the borders of the Kingdom.
“The issue is that there are still voices screaming about the case when the matter doesn’t even remotely concern them, as if their love for Jamal Khashoggi is greater than that of his family and children,” he said. “They are trying to attack Saudi Arabia using the blood of the deceased.”
He added that he and the Saudi people trust the Kingdom’s justice system to be fair, and that it will not tolerate the murder of Khashoggi.
Al-Shehri described the actions of Khashoggi’s family as “patriotic” and added: “What the children of Khashoggi did is not only a great human and religious gesture, but they knew that there were people who used Khashoggi’s case to further their own agendas from outside the Kingdom, so they blocked their way.
“Of course, neither we (the people) nor the government are in agreement with what happened to Jamal, but can you imagine that there are people who deny Jamal’s family their right to forgive his killers? Who are (they) to decide what his family should do?”