Saudi Arabia has given Jamal Khashoggi’s four children “million-dollar houses” and “five-figure monthly payments” in an attempt to ensure that the family “continue to show restraint in their public statements”, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post who was living in the United States, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives on October 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he had gone to collect documents for his planned wedding.
Having written critically about the Saudi government and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Khashoggi resisted pressure from Riyadh to return home. Saudi officials described the murder as a rogue operation that went wrong, carried out by a team that intended to return Khashoggi to Riyadh.
The Saudi government initially denied the killing but later conceded that it had taken place, but claimed that the highest level of administration, namely the Crown Prince, had nothing to do with the murder.
Washington Post said that the Saudi kingdom is trying to come to a long-term understanding with the Khashoggi, family members to encourage them to continue to abstain from criticism in relation to their father’s slaying by Saudi agents.
Larger payments, “possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece”, as part of “blood money” negotiations could be offered in the near future, the paper reported, citing accounts by current and former Saudi officials as well as people close to Khashoggi’s family.
On Monday, the paper quoted an ex-Saudi official as saying that King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud approved the “provision of homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more to each sibling” in 2018 as an acknowledgment that “a big injustice has been done” and in a bid to “make a wrong, right”.
Negotiations over further payouts are expected to take place after the trials of Khashoggi’s accused killers, according to officials and others who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity.
According to Saudi resources, eleven suspects are on trial for the murder, and the prosecution is seeking death penalties for five of them.
On March 1, Turkey’s Ministry of Justice announced that Turkey has instructed Interpol to issue 20 red notices in relation to the murder of the journalist.
Khashoggi’s murder caused friction between Saudi Arabia and Turkey over Ankara’s efforts to pursue an international inquiry into the killing.