Khashoggi ‘Blood Money': Reported Payments in Saudi Writer's Death Raise Questions

"The nightmare scenario for the Saudi government would have been the sight of Khashoggi's children in the U.S. speaking out," one analyst said

Reports that the family of Saudi Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi could receive millions of dollars after his murder in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate focus attention on a specific aspect of Islamic law: "blood money" payments.

The Post reported Tuesday that Khashoggi's two sons and two daughters had already each been given homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more. According to the newspaper, the payments were cleared late last year by King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. One official described the handouts as an acknowledgment that “a big injustice has been done,” the report said.

In addition, the children could get tens of millions of dollars each as part of negotiations when the trials of his killers are wrapped up over the next few months, current and former Saudi officials and people close to the family told the Post. 

The payments, which NBC News has not independently confirmed, are likely an attempt to use a "traditional approach" to mitigate the international fallout from the murder, said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a Middle East fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

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