Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée rejects family forgiveness offer to killers


Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has declared “no-one has the right to pardon his killers”, after his sons said the Khashoggi family has pardoned those who were involved in their father’s killing.

Ms. Cengiz, a Turkish citizen, said “his ambush and heinous murder does not have a statute of limitations and no one has the right to pardon his killers”, in a Twitter post.

Khashoggi, who had gone into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 02, 2018 seeking documents to get married.

Investigators believe he was murdered and dismembered while his fiancée waited outside, but his remains have never been recovered.

Saudi officials initially claimed he had left the building alive and their account of events changed several times in the weeks after his disappearance.

Details of his gruesome killing shocked the world, and a subsequent UN report said there was credible evidence that the crown prince and other high-level Saudi officials were individually liable.

The prince has denied any involvement in the murder, but has said he took “full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government”.

In December 2019, a court sentenced five unnamed men to death for their role in his killing after a secretive trial in Riyadh.

A UN special rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, labelled the Saudi trial the “antithesis of justice” and urged an independent investigation.

On Friday, Ms. Cengiz wrote on Twitter that Jamal Khashoggi had become “an international symbol bigger than any of us, admired and loved.”

She added that “Jamal was killed inside his country’s consulate while getting the docs to complete our marriage. The killers came from Saudi with premeditation to lure, ambush [and]kill him.”

Earlier, a statement was posted to the Twitter account of Salah Khashoggi, one of the late journalist’s sons who lives in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

“In this blessed night of the blessed month (of Ramadan) we remember God’s saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah,” his son Salah wrote in a tweet.

“Therefore, we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty,” he added.

Death sentences can be commuted in light of a pardon by the victim’s family under Islamic law, but it is not clear whether that will apply in this case.

Salah has previously issued statements expressing his confidence in, and support of, the Saudi investigation.

Last year, the Washington Post reported that Khashoggi’s children had received homes and monthly payments as compensation for the killing of their father.

But Salah, Khashoggi’s eldest son, was the only sibling who intended to carry on living in Saudi Arabia, the newspaper said. (Source: BBC)