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Khashoggi's sons forgive Saudi killers, sparing 5 execution

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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the country's consulate in Istanbul

The family of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday said that they forgave his killers.

"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".

Saudi media outlet Arab News sought to clarify Friday that the announcement made by Khashoggi's sons may spare the convicted killers from execution, but does not mean they will go unpunished.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

Khashoggi - a royal family insider turned critic - was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, in a case that triggered worldwide outrage.

Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Khashoggi last December after the suspects were put on trial in secretive proceedings in the capital, Riyadh.

Salah has previously said he has "full confidence" in the judicial system, and criticised opponents he said were seeking to exploit the case.

"There were reports that the family was paid blood money by the Saudi Government - which were denied by Mr Khashoggi's son Salah", he said.

Khashoggi's body has never been found.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits next to a Saudi flag wearing a keffiyeh
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud's image was tarnished by Jamal Khashoggi's death

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

Saudi officials denied he played a role, though in September 2019 the prince indicated some personal accountability, saying "it happened under my watch".

Salah rejected the report, denying discussing a financial settlement with the Saudi government.

The head of the UK-based Saudi rights group ALQST, Yahya Assiri, believes the statement is part of a ploy to help the Saudi government shirk responsibility over the murder.

After initially offering shifting accounts of what transpired, and under intense global and Turkish pressure, Saudi prosecutors eventually settled on the explanation that Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi agents in an operation masterminded by two of the crown prince's top aides at the time.

Qahtani was investigated but not indicted "due to insufficient evidence" and Assiri was charged, but eventually acquitted on the same grounds, according to the public prosecutor.

I and others will not stop until we get justice for Jamal, ' she said.

In this photo from November 27, 2018, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured while meeting with the Tunisian president at the presidential palace in Carthage, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis.

The crown prince denied any advance knowledge of the plot, even though the Central Intelligence Agency concluded with "medium to high confidence" that Mohammed had ordered Khashoggi's killing.

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