Saudi Arabia Reportedly Compensating Children of Jamal Khashoggi
Saudi Arabia has been giving luxurious homes and large sums of money to the children of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Citing Saudi officials and people close to the family, The Washington Post – the newspaper where Khashoggi wrote a regular column – reported that the benefits to his two sons and two daughters were part of the kingdom’s efforts to reach a long-term settlement with the family. A Saudi government official quoted in the report denied that the goal of the payments was to buy the family’s silence. A second official indicated that the benefits were consistent with the government’s practice of financially supporting victims of violent crime, insisting that family members would not be obliged to refrain from speaking out. The homes mentioned in the report are valued at up to $4 million. The five-digit monthly payments could be supplemented by lump sum payments estimated to be in the millions. The body of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi monarchy, has yet to be found. Despite official denials, reports last month alleged that prior to Khashoggi’s death, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved a secret campaign to silence opponents of the regime. Tactics supposedly would include surveillance, kidnapping, arrest and torture.