The family of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi yesterday said that they had forgiven the men who murdered their father, paving the way for a legal reprieve for five defendants sentenced to death for the October 2018 killing.
"If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah," Khashoggi's son Salah tweeted. "Therefore, we the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father".
In Saudi Arabia, which lacks a codified legal system and follows Islamic law, forgiveness from a victim's family in cases of murder can allow for a formal pardon.
However, Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz said that no one could pardon his killers. Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, 2018, where he had gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding. His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have not been found.
The murder caused a global uproar and tarnished the image of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed he had ordered the killing.
Saudi officials denied he played a role.