The oldest son of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday appeared to defend the crown prince suspected of orchestrating his father's killing as well as the family's decision to accept compensation worth millions of dollars from the Saudi government.
In an apparent reference to those payments, Salah Khashoggi said on Twitter that "acts of generosity and humanity come from the high moral grounds" maintained by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and are "not admission of guilt or scandal."
The posting represented the first statement from the family since The Washington Post reported this month that all four of Khashoggi's adult children have been given multimillion-dollar homes in the kingdom and are receiving monthly payments exceeding $10,000 apiece.
The story also said that the Khashoggi children are in line to receive additional payments possibly totaling tens of millions of dollars as part of "blood money" negotiations that are expected to ensue when trials of Khashoggi's accused killers conclude.
Salah Khashoggi sought to cast doubt on that sequence, saying that "no settlement discussion has been or is discussed."
Others close to the matter have said it is accurate that no formal negotiations have begun, but only because it would be premature to do so before the cases are resolved.
Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five men accused of playing a direct role in the killing of Khashoggi, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.
Among them is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a longtime Saudi official with close ties to the crown prince who previously worked with Khashoggi at the Saudi Embassy in London.
Saudi officials have maintained that the killing was carried out by rogue Saudi operatives and that Mohammed had no foreknowledge of or involvement in the plot.
But the CIA, citing intercepted communications and other evidence, has concluded with medium to high confidence that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's capture or death.
Salah, the only Khashoggi child who continues to live in Saudi Arabia, has been the family's point person in dealings with the government and royal court.
He was photographed shaking hands with the crown prince in October before leaving the kingdom to meet with others in his family, including a brother and two sisters.
When reached by phone earlier this month, Salah declined to answer questions about the payments. His statement Wednesday appeared to acknowledge the compensation indirectly, saying that members of the family "were brought up by our parents to thank acts of good not disavow."
Salah and his siblings were given houses in Jiddah worth several million dollars apiece, according to people familiar with the arrangement. Salah owns the largest of the structures, while the other properties are part of a shared compound.
The children also received initial payments of about 1 million Saudi riyal - or roughly $266,000 - after Saudi authorities acknowledged that their father had been killed by state operatives, according to a person with knowledge of the issue. These payments have not previously been disclosed because they were not known at the time of The Post story this month.
The Khashoggi children have shown significant restraint in their few public statements since their father's death. But Salah's tweet went further than those previous communications in praising the crown prince.
The son described his father as "a respectable journalist and patriotic Saudi citizen," although he was frequently critical of the kingdom's policies in opinion columns published by The Post.
The paper also reported in December that Khashoggi had relied on associates, including a longtime friend with close ties to Qatar, to help shape his writings for an American audience. Part of Salah's statement seemed aimed at that account, saying that "recent attempts to smear his legacy and draw friction are ill and immoral."The Washington Post