The son of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has denied a financial settlement with the government, spoke out in defence of the kingdom on Tuesday ahead of the first anniversary of the killing. Salah Khashoggi said he had "full confidence" in the judicial system, and hit out at opponents he said were seeking to exploit the case.
"A year has gone by since the passing of my beloved father. During this time, opponents and enemies in the East and West sought to exploit his case... to undermine my country and leadership," he said in a tweet.
"I will not accept that his memory and case be taken advantage of to achieve that after his passing," said Salah, who resides in the kingdom. "I have full confidence in the kingdom's judicial system and in its ability to serve justice to those behind this heinous crime," he said.
The Washington Post reported on April 1 that Khashoggi's children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi a royal family insider turned critic -- was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, in an operation that reportedly involved 15 agents sent from Riyadh. His body was never found. Eleven unidentified suspects have been on trial in Riyadh, with five of them facing the death penalty.
Both the CIA and a UN special envoy have directly linked de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder, a charge the kingdom denies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the court proceedings in Saudi Arabia, which he said lacked transparency and maintained that some of Khashoggi’s murderers “enjoy de facto freedom.” The court proceedings “tarnish the image of Saudi Arabia,” Erdogan added. A U.N. report released earlier this year asserted that Saudi Arabia bore responsibility for the killing and that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s possible role should be investigated. On Sunday, Prince Mohammed said in a television interview that he takes “full responsibility” for Khashoggi’s death but denied allegations that he ordered it.
“This was a heinous crime,” Prince Mohammed, 34, told “60 Minutes.” ″But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.”
(With AP inputs)