Khashoggi’s two sons and two daughters may also receive much larger payouts — possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece — as part of “blood money” negotiations that are expected to ensue when the trials of Khashoggi’s accused killers are completed in the coming months, according to the officials and others who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks.
The previously undisclosed 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 about the killing of their father by Saudi operatives in Istanbul six months ago, the officials said.
The Khashoggi siblings have refrained from any harsh criticism of the kingdom, even as their father’s death provoked global outrage and widespread condemnation of the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The delivery of homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more to each sibling were approved late last year by King Salman as part of what one former official described as an acknowledgment that “a big injustice has been done” and an attempt “to make a wrong right.”
But the royal family is also relying on its wealth to help contain the ongoing fallout from the killing and dismemberment of the prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist who was targeted for articles that were often critical of the government.
A Saudi official described the payments as consistent with the country’s long-standing practice of providing financial support to victims of violent crime or even natural disasters and rejected the suggestion that the Khashoggi family would be obligated to remain silent. “Such support is part of our custom and culture,” the official said. “It is not attached to anything else.”