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03rd-Apr-2019

Slain Khashoggi's children paid by Saudi officials

By

The Washington Post :
The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have received million-dollar houses in the kingdom and monthly five-figure payments as compensation for the killing of their father, according to current and former Saudi officials as well as people close to the family.
Khashoggi's two sons and two daughters may also receive much larger payouts - possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece - as part of "blood money" negotiations that are expected to ensue when the trials of Khashoggi's accused killers are completed in the coming months, according to the officials and others who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks.
The previously undisclosed payments 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 about the killing of their father by Saudi operatives in Istanbul six months ago, the officials said.
The Khashoggi siblings have refrained from any harsh criticism of the kingdom, even as their father's death provoked global outrage and widespread condemnation of the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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."
But the royal family is also relying on its wealth to help contain the ongoing fallout from the killing and dismemberment of the prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist who was targeted for articles that were often critical of the government.
A Saudi official described the payments as being consistent with the country's long-standing practice of providing financial support to victims of violent crime or even natural disasters and rejected the suggestion that the Khashoggi family would be obligated to remain silent. "Such support is part of our custom and culture," the official said. "It is not attached to anything else."
As part of their preliminary settlement, the Khashoggi children were each given houses in Jiddah worth as much as $4 million apiece. The properties are part of a shared compound in which Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son, occupies the main structure.
A banker in Jiddah, Salah is the only Khashoggi sibling who intends to continue living in Saudi Arabia, according to people close to the family. The others reside in the United States and are expected to sell their new Saudi properties.
Salah, who has been responsible for financial discussions with Saudi authorities, declined to comment on the matter when reached by phone Monday. His desire to remain in Jiddah with his family has contributed to the siblings' deference to the authorities and caution in their public statements over the past six months.
In October, the Saudi government released photos of Salah shaking hands with Mohammed, an image that was meant to show the crown prince offering condolences but was widely seen as an indication of the coercive power the royal family was exerting on Jamal Khashoggi's children.