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My handshake with Mohammed bin Salman misinterpreted: Khashoggi's son to CNN

Monday November 5, 2018 12:23 PM, News Network

CNN Interview Jamal Khashoggi's sons

Washington: Salah, the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, on Monday slammed the wild reactions on social media and in a section of press over his handshake with Saudi Crown Prince Moahmmed bin Salman shortly before he left for the United States from the Kingdom.

Talking to CNN, along with his younger brother, Adbullah, in their first media interview after their father’s mysterious killing in the Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on October 2, they also rejected attempts by some parties to politically exploit their father's death.

"My handshake with the Crown Prince shortly before I left Saudi Arabia two weeks ago was widely misinterpreted", Salah Khashoggi said.

"I mean there was nothing, they were just over analyzing the whole situation," he said.

"I understand why they're trying to do that. They're trying to get as much information as they can out of anything, which is something that we're also doing. Sometimes they're just baseless claims, sometimes they just don't make any sense", he added.

Stating that the family is waiting for the investigation to be over and for the facts to come out, Salah said, "The King has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice. And I have faith in that. This will happen. Otherwise Saudi wouldn't have started an internal investigation."

Asked if he was placing his faith in the King, Salah replied, "Yes."

Unlike a narrative put forward by a section of media, Salah said his father believed in the Saudi monarchy which is keeping the nation united.

"He was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that is keeping the country together. And he believed in the transformation that it is going through", Salah said.

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 its potential."

"I see a lot of people coming out right now and trying to claim his legacy and unfortunately some of them are using that in a political way that we totally don't agree with", Salah said.

"Public opinion is important... but my fear is that it's being over politicized. People are throwing analysis that may direct us away from the truth", he added.

The two brothers however made a fervent appeal for the return of their father's body. Without their father's body, the brothers said, their family is unable to grieve or find closure.

"All we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi (cemetery) in Medina (Saudi Arabia) with the rest of his family," Salah said.

"I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon", he added.

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