The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi had been a columnist, reported on Monday that the payments to the slain Saudi critic’s two sons and two daughters were meant for them to “show restraint” in public statements about the murder, which is reported to have been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The 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,” the report said.
It also noted that Khashoggi’s children each received houses in the port city of Jeddah worth up to $4 million.
In addition, the children are getting $10,000 or more per month and may also receive larger payments that could amount to tens of millions of dollars each, the report added.
One source told The Washington Post that King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud approved the payments to Khashoggi’s family late last year in a bid to acknowledge that “a big injustice has been done” and “to make a wrong right.”
Khashoggi — a late but vocal critic of bin Salman— was killed and his body was dismembered by a Saudi hit squad after being lured into the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018.
His fate was unknown for several weeks, until Saudi Arabia confirmed under rising international pressure that he had been murdered at the diplomatic mission.
Riyadh, however, has attempted to shift the blame to bin Salman’s underlings and away from the prince himself. It has not produced Khashoggi’s body to this day.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has sided with the Saudi regime in the scandal, despite a conclusion by the CIA that Prince Mohammed personally ordered the murder — a development first reported by The Washington Post.
In an opinion piece published on Monday, the newspaper said Trump has so far done nothing to hold those responsible for the killing accountable.
The US president, the article read, has shied away from criticizing bin Salman and taking any action against the kingdom other than placing sanctions on the 17 individuals implicated in the murder.
“In this impotent response, Trump isn’t just violating the law. He is also undermining the credibility and moral authority of the United States,” it said. “Another six months cannot pass without accountability for this abhorrent crime. Justice for an innocent journalist — and America’s most crucial interests — require nothing less.”
Bin Salman and the coordinator of the murder operation, Saud al-Qahtani, have enjoyed freedom from repercussions, according to the article.
“Mohammed bin Salman has jetted around the world, high-fiving Russian President Vladimir Putin, getting chummy with China, and rubbing elbows with other world leaders as part of a global tour to rehabilitate his reputation,” it added.