The sons of late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi issued an appeal for the return of their father’s body on Sunday and added that they wanted to return to Saudi Arabia for the burial.
Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi tell the CNN that their family is unable to mourn and deal with the emotional burden of their father’s death without the body.
“It isn’t a normal situation, it isn’t a normal death at all. All that we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi (cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia), where the rest of his family rests,” Salah Khashoggi said. “I talked about it with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it’s made to happen soon.”
Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist critical of the Saudi government and he was killed soon after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Saudi authorities admit that Khashoggi was murdered in a premeditated action, thus revising the previous statements that his death was unintended. Turkish officials and some United States lawmakers say that the Crown Prince Mohammed ordered the murder, an allegation that is denied by Riyadh.
Khashoggi’s body hasn’t been recovered, and hence the Saudi authorities have conducted conducting an official investigation.
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince and an international businessman, Alwaleed bin Talal, said on Sunday that the probe shall exonerate the country’s leader.
Salah Khashoggi on October 24 met with the crown prince and King Salman to receive condolences along with other Khashoggi family members in Riyadh. Salah departed for Washington a day after, and his CNN interview has been his first public comments since then.
He says that King Salman assured him that those involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi would be brought to justice.
“All we need is just to make sure that he rests in peace,” Salah Khashoggi says so of his father. “Until now, I still cannot believe that he’s gone. It is not sinking in with me emotionally.”
Salah says that the charges of his father being a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood organization were false.
When asked how Khashoggi should be remembered, Salah replied, “As a moderate man who has common values with everyone, a man who loved his country, who believed so much in it and the potential it has.”
“Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy, and he feels that that is the thing that’s keeping the country together. He also believed in the transformation that it has been going through.”