Khashoggi’s family denies talks of settlement with Saudi govt

Dubai: The family of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi denied being in talks to reach a settlement out of court with Saudi authorities following reports that his sons had taken payouts.

“Currently, the trial is taking place and no settlement discussion had been or is discussed,” read an English statement posted to Salah Khashoggi’s verified Twitter account.

 

The Washington Post on April 1 reported Khashoggi’s children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.

Khashoggi — a contributor to the Post and a critic of the Saudi government — was killed and dismembered in October at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh.

His body has not been recovered.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of orchestrating Khashoggi’s killing, but a local investigation exonerated him.

Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, later blaming rogue agents for his death.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over the murder.

Khashoggi’s son said only the family and their attorney were authorised to “claim to be a source of information”.

The statement did not openly confirm or deny possible reparations from the Saudi king or crown prince, whom the family called “guardians to all Saudis”.

“Acts of generosity and humanity come from the high moral grounds they possess, not admission of guilt or scandal,” the statement said.

According to the Post, the payments to his four children — two sons and two daughters — “are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements”.

The Khashoggi murder has sparked international outcry and calls to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which leads a regional military campaign battling Yemeni rebels linked to Iran.

US President Donald Trump has been Riyadh’s strongest Western ally throughout the Khashoggi affair, phoning Prince Mohammed on Wednesday to discuss “bilateral relations,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

But Republicans and Democrats have both bristled over the White House’s apparent embrace of the kingdom and its leadership.

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