- The sons of the slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi have spoken out for the first time since his October 2 killing, issuing an emotional plea for the return of their father’s remains.
- Salah Khashoggi, 35, a dual US-Saudi citizen, and his brother, Abdullah, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, spoke with CNN in an interview that aired Sunday and described the past few weeks of uncertainty.
- The brothers said that they were disturbed by the depiction of their father after his death and that he had been misrepresented for political reasons.
- They described their father as “courageous, generous, and very brave,” and they said they still had faith in the Saudi king to bring their father’s killers to justice.
The sons of the slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi spoke out for the first time since his killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul early last month, calling their father “courageous, generous, and very brave” and issuing an emotional plea for the return of their father’s remains.
Salah Khashoggi, 35, a dual US-Saudi citizen, and his brother, Abdullah, 33, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, spoke with CNN in an interview that aired Sunday and described weeks of uncertainty following their father’s October 2 disappearance.
“I really hope that whatever happened wasn’t painful for him, or it was quick,” Abdullah Khashoggi said. “Or he had a peaceful death.”
While Saudi Arabia’s description of what happened to the elder Khashoggi has shifted several times, Turkish officials have said he was strangled shortly after he entered the Istanbul consulate and his body was dismembered. His remains have not been recovered.
Without the body, the family cannot conduct a proper burial or move past the disappearance.
“All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi in Medina with the rest of his family,” Salah Khashoggi said of the cemetary in Saudi Arabia. “I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.”
Where is Khashoggi’s body?
Saudi Arabia first denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, eventually acknowledging his death 17 days after he went missing.
On Sunday, a report by a Turkish pro-government newspaper said Khashoggi’s body was dismembered and put into five suitcases.
The Washington Post previously reported that Turkish officials were pursuing a theory that the 59-year-old’s remains were dissolved in acid in the consulate or at the nearby consul general’s home.
The Post cited an anonymous Turkish official as saying authorities found biological evidence in the consulate garden that supported the theory.
“Khashoggi’s body was not in need of burying,” the official said, according to The Post.
Earlier theories floated that Khashoggi’s body was wrapped up in some kind of fabric and given to a local Turkish coconspirator.
Khashoggi’s sons say they want to defend their father’s honour
On Sunday, Khashoggi’s sons said that they were disturbed by the depiction of their father after his death and that he had been misrepresented for political reasons.
“I see a lot of people coming out right now and trying to claim his legacy and unfortunately some of them are using that in a political way that we totally don’t agree with,” Salah Khashoggi said.
Salah, the elder sibling, said the two brothers were receiving updates on the parallel investigations into their father’s killing through the media.
“Our source is the same source that you have. It is a mystery,” he said. “This is putting a lot of burden on us – all of us. That everybody is seeking for information just as we do. They think that we have answers, and unfortunately we don’t.”
“It’s confusing and difficult,” Abdullah Khashoggi said. “It’s not a normal situation and not a normal death.”
Still, the brothers expressed confidence in Saudi King Salman. “The king has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice,” Salah Khashoggi said. “And I have faith in that.”