Saudi Arabia has allegedly given monthly payments, as well as houses worth as much as $4 million, to the children of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the Washington Post.
Khashoggi, a journalist and columnist for the Washington Post, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey six months ago, causing an international uproar.
People implicated in his killing have had close ties to Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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Saudi officials have acknowledged their agents were involved and started an investigation into his death. Eleven people are on trial in Saudi Arabia, though the exact details of the charges are not known.
The monthly payments of $10,000 to each of Khashoggi’s four children were approved in 2018 by bin Salman and were allegedly part of a compensation settlement from the government — as well as encouragement for the family to stay quiet in their criticism of the kingdom.
A former official told the Post the payments were an acknowledgment that “a big injustice has been done.”
More settlement money may still be on the table for the siblings. As part of Saudi law, the siblings can offer clemency to their father’s killers in return for “blood money,” which could range in the tens of millions of dollars.
The Post says it’s unclear whether or not the siblings would have to offer forgiveness to their father’s killers.
A current official of the Saudi government said the payments are consistent with the country’s culture as well as its practice of offering financial support to victims of violence.
“Such support is part of our custom and culture,” the official told the Post.
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Three of Khashoggi’s children live in the U.S. and are expected to sell their properties, which are in Jeddah.
The eldest son, Salah Khashoggi, has stayed in Saudi Arabia.
Salah, along with his brother, was photographed meeting bin Salman in October, just weeks after their father was killed.
A friend of the Khashoggi family told the Associated Press at the time that Salah had been under a travel ban since last year. The individual spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal.
The Khashoggi children haven’t spoken out to condemn the Saudi government in the wake of the Khashoggi’s death.
Salah’s choice to remain in the country with his family has contributed to his “siblings’ deference to the authorities and caution in their public statements over the past six months.”
Khashoggi’s fiancee, on the other hand, told Reuters in October: “This took place inside a Saudi diplomatic mission … In such circumstances, the Saudi Arabian authorities are responsible for this.”
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