The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been given ‘blood money’ by the Saudi government as ‘compensation’ for the killing of their father, it is claimed.
Khashoggi’s two sons and two daughters were said to receive up to tens of millions of dollars apiece, the Washington Post reports.
The negotiated deal includes million-dollar houses and monthly five-figure payments, the Post credits unnamed Saudi officials and people close to the family as saying.
It’s reported that King Salman has approved the delivery of homes and monthly payments of Sh1 million ($10,000) or more to each siblings last year, as one former official described it as an acknowledgement that ‘a big injustice has been done’ and an attempt ‘to make a wrong right’.
Khashoggi, a contributing columnist at the Post who criticised the regime of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, last October.
An anonymous Saudi official said the payment ‘is part of our custom and culture’ and is regarded as the country’s long-standing practice of providing financial support to victims of violent crime or natural disasters.
He added such gesture has no suggestion the Khashoggi family would be obligated to remain silent.
It is claimed the four children were given houses in Jiddah, a major port city in western Saudi Arabia, worth as much as Sh400 million ($4 million) each.
On March 28, a United Nation human rights expert condemned the Saudi government for holding ‘secret hearings’ for 11 suspects accused in the murder of the journalist.
Agnes Callamard called on Saudi authorities to reveal the defendants’ names, the charges and the fate of 10 others initially arrested.
“The current proceedings contravene international human rights law according to which the right to a fair trial involves the right to a public hearing,” Callamard said in a statement.
The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unidentified suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of ordering and committing the crime.
The CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.
It is claimed that Khashoggi’s body may have been burned in a specially-burnt tandoori oven, at the home of the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul.
The large furnace, which could withstand temperatures of more than 1,000C, was constructed weeks before the journalist’s death, according to a documentary by Al Jazeera.
A large amount of meat was burned in the oven afterward to cover up what had happened, it is alleged.
The oven was seen burning in the aftermath of Khashoggi’s disappearance, and Turkish authorities believe the body was destroyed over three days, the investigation found.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.