Dubai: The sons of the late Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Friday that they have pardoned the killers of their father, according to a statement reported by Al Arabiya.
“On this virtuous night of this holy month, we recall the saying of God Almighty 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. He does not love the unjust’,” the late journalist’s son Salah Khashoggi said on Twitter.
“Thus, we, sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father — May he rest in peace — for the sake of God Almighty, hopefully seeking reward with the Almighty,” the statement added.
Khashoggi, a well-known Saudi journalist, was murdered on October 20, 2018, at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. He was visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Jamal’s son Salah retweeted a 2015 tweet of the late journalist in which he quoted a verse from the Quran which reads: “If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).”
Five people sentenced to death
A Saudi Arabian court last December sentenced five people to death for the murder of Khashoggi, and three others were sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail.
Representatives of the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as a representative from Turkey were present during the trials, according to the Public Prosecutor. Khashoggi’s sons and their lawyer were also present during the trials.
Salah said at the time that he was confident in the fairness of Saudi Arabia’s judicial system, after the public prosecution sentenced five people to death and three others to a total of 24 years in jail for the murder of his father.
“Today we have been granted justice as the children of the deceased, God willing, Jamal Khashoggi. We affirm our confidence in the Saudi judiciary at all levels, that it has been fair to us and that justice has been achieved,” Salah said in a tweet.
Capital punishment is legal under Saudi Arabian law, but the family of the victim has the right to pardon or grant clemency to the perpetrator. Once ratified, this pardon prevents the perpetrator from receiving the death penalty.
The family can choose to pardon the perpetrator for any reason they see fit and pardons are given for a variety of reasons. During the month of Ramadan, known in Islam as the month of forgiveness and spirituality, public and private pardons are often given across the Islamic world.
However, the clemency given by the family of a victim in capital crimes does not absolve the perpetrator from responsibility or punishment for the crime they have been found guilty of committing. The perpetrators will still be sentenced accordingly under public law.
Saudi Arabia has been pressing ahead with judicial reforms. On Tuesday, the Kingdom officially abolished ‘Ta’zir flogging.’