Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi, sons of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, have asked Saudi authorities to return the body of their father so the family can properly grieve.
Speaking to CNN in an interview on Sunday, they told “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy, that it is the thing that is keeping the country together.”
Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a hit squad sent from Riyadh on October 2. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that murder was ordered from “the highest levels” of Saudi Arabia’s government.
“I really hope that whatever happened wasn’t painful for him, or it was quick. Or he had a peaceful death,” Abdullah Khashoggi told the CNN TV during the interview in Washington. His brother Salah said “all that we want right now is to bury him in Al Baqi in Medina with the rest of his family. I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon”.
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Turkey’s chief prosecutor said recently that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and also confirmed the body was dismembered. Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hinted in an article published on Friday that the body may even have been destroyed in acid.
Khashoggi’s killing has provoked widespread outrage and sharp criticism from Washington and other European countries.
Khashoggi’s sons voiced worry that the work of their father, a columnist for The Washington Post, was being distorted for political reasons. The brothers said they have relied primarily on news reports to piece together an understanding of their father’s death.