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Jamal Khashoggi's children get huge "blood money" payouts from Saudi Arabia, Washington Post reports

Top Saudi diplomat: Khashoggi murder "a mistake"

The four children of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been given million-dollar homes in the Kingdom and will get monthly payments of at least $10,000 as part of what the Post says is a "blood money" arrangement aimed at buying their silence. Khashoggi was brutally murdered in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul six months ago.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has intelligence substantiating an assessment that the crown prince ordered the killing of the columnist, who regularly criticized the royal family and the future king in particular.

According to the Post's Greg Miller, Khashoggi's two sons and two daughters may also get "much larger payouts — possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece" once the conservative Islamic kingdom's courts wrap up the trials of the 11 people accused in the murder. Miller's report cited current and former officials from Saudi Arabia, all speaking anonymously. The kingdom maintains tight control on the flow of information; there is no domestic freedom of press and it does not allow foreign media entities to operate freely on its soil.

Saudi prosecutors have charged 11 people over murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi national, which the kingdom's rulers initially denied any role in. Among those on trial are members of the crown prince's entourage. Five of the suspects are facing the death penalty.

Pompeo presses Saudi crown prince on Khashoggi & Yemen

Turkey and the United Nations have accused Saudi Arabia of holding the trial in complete secrecy, and both are pushing for a full, impartial international investigation.

The Trump administration, which has fostered close ties with Crown Prince Salman, has declined to accept the U.S. intelligence community's assessment and refused to implicate Salman directly in the murder, drawing sharp rebukes from Congress.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the international scandal has prompted the king of Saudi Arabia to curtail his son Crown Prince Salman's power within the ruling family, but he has not been officially reprimanded and he is still in line to inherit the throne.

The Post quoted a former Saudi official as saying the monthly payments and homes given to Khashoggi's children were personally approved by King Salman in an acknowledgement that "a big injustice has been done." The official said it was an effort by the royal family "to make a wrong right."

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An image released Oct. 23, 2018, by Saudi Arabia's state-run SPA news agency shows Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) shaking hands with Salah Khashoggi, the son of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Riyadh. Handout

Khashoggi's children, all adults, have remained virtually silent in the wake of their father's murder. One of them, Salah Khashoggi, met the king and the crown price, along with his own uncle, in a formal greeting orchestrated by the royal family just weeks after the murder. The Saudi government said the royals had delivered their personal condolences to Khashoggi's grieving son and brother.