Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, in a case that tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom activists hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Saudi Embassy to mark the anniversary of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Wednesday evening in Washington, US, October 2, 2019.
The Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom activists hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Saudi Embassy to mark the anniversary of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Wednesday evening in Washington, US, October 2, 2019. (Reuters Archive)

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday they "forgive" the killers of their father, an announcement analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicted people on death row.

"In this blessed night of the blessed month (of Ramadan) we remember God's saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah," son Salah Khashoggi said in a tweet.

"Therefore, we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty" he added.

'Won't stop until we get justice'

Hours after the son's tweet, Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz also used the social media platform saying, "no one has the right to pardon his killers."

"I and others will not stop until we get #JusticeForJamal," she said. 

International uproar

Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 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, tarnishing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's image. Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed he had ordered the killing.

Saudi officials say he had no role, though in September 2019 MBS indicated some personal accountability, saying "it happened under my watch".

Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Khashoggi last December.

The suspects were put on trial in secretive proceedings in the capital Riyadh.

The trials were condemned by the United Nations and rights groups. UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, accused Saudi Arabia of making a "mockery" of justice by allowing the masterminds of the 2018 killing to go free.

However, Salah Khashoggi said of the December verdict that "it has been fair to us and that justice has been achieved."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies