Saudi Arabia compensating Khashoggi children: Report

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) – Saudi Arabia is compensating the children of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi for his murder, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Each of the children were given houses in Jeddah worth as much as $4 million apiece as part of a preliminary settlement and they are also receiving monthly payments, the Post reported.

The Post said the five-figure payments that Khashoggi's two sons and daughters were getting "are part of an effort…aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements about the killing of their father."

The newspaper cited current and former Saudi officials as well as members of Khashoggi's family.

Last October, Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor to the Post, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was subsequently killed.

After offering a series of changing narratives to explain what happened, the Saudi government eventually admitted he had died there but blamed the operation on a botched rendition attempt.

"The delivery of homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more to each sibling were approved late last year by King Salman as part of what one former official described as an acknowledgment that 'a big injustice has been done' and an attempt 'to make a wrong right'," it said.

The children may also receive payments — up to tens of millions of dollars apiece — as part of "blood money" negotiations with the Saudi government, said the newspaper, adding that the Khashoggi siblings have refrained from "any harsh criticism" of the Saudi kingdom.

According to the Post, a Saudi official described the payments as consistent with the country’s practice of providing financial support to victims of violent crime or natural disasters.

The official denied the suggestion that the Khashoggi family would be obligated to remain silent.

"Such support is part of our custom and culture," the newspaper quoted the official as saying. "It is not attached to anything else."

Turkey has sought the extradition of the Saudi citizens involved in the killing as well as a fuller accounting of the killing from Riyadh.

The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed individuals in November last year, and secret court hearings began in January.