The last words uttered by murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been revealed as it emerged he recognised one of his alleged killers.
The Washington Post columnist immediately realised something was wrong when he saw the man as he entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official working for bin Salman, was known to Khashoggi from their time together at the Saudi Embassy in London.
A voice identified as Mutreb tells Khashoggi “You are coming back,” to which he replies, “You can’t do that. People are waiting outside.”
In a transcript of disturbing audio recorded inside the consulate, Khashoggi can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” as he was horrifically tortured inside the Saudi embassy.
The sound of Khashoggi’s body being dismembered by a saw can be heard.
A voice is heard telling the alleged perpetrators: “If you don’t like the noise, put your earphones in.”
The translated transcript of audio of Khashoggi’s last moments, obtained by CNN, backs up claims the October 2 murder was not a botched interrogation, as the Saudis initially claimed.
The new evidence also appears to tie Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even closer to Khashoggi’s brutal death.
During the course of the gruesome scene, the source describes Khashoggi struggling against a group of people determined to kill him.
“I can’t breathe,” Khashoggi says.
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
Khashoggi was killed within seven minutes in a “premeditated” murder captured on tape, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said last month.
Mevlut Cavusoglu says he has listened to the “disgusting” recording allegedly capturing the Saudi journalist’s brutal killing.
He claims a forensic expert shows ‘enjoyment’ in the tape, as he tells other hitmen to listen to music while he cuts up Khashoggi’s body.
“It was premeditated murder,” Cavusoglu told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, rather than a last resort.
“It can be heard how the forensics expert instructs the others: they should listen to music while he cuts up the body.
“One notices how he enjoys it.”
He added that the journalist was murdered “within seven minutes”.
Saudi-Turkish relations have been strained by the killing of Khashoggi.
After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said the 60-year-old had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
A US resident and critic of the Saudi leadership, he had been filmed on CCTV arriving at the consulate on October 2 before vanishing.
Turkey says he was killed at the consulate by a squad of 15 Saudi agents including a member of the Saudi Crown Prince’s security team.
However, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said that Prince Mohammed bin Salman had no knowledge of the killing.
In his interview, Cavusoglu said the crown prince had asked for a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and that there was currently no reason not to meet him.
“Yes, he has asked Erdogan on the phone, whether they could meet in Buenos Aires,” he told the newspaper.
“Erdogan’s answer was ‘Let’s see’.”
US President Donald Trump has said that Washington would remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, despite saying Prince Mohammed may have known about the plan to murder Khashoggi.
Asked if he knew for sure who in Riyadh gave the order to kill Khashoggi, Cavusoglu said that the team would not have acted on its own, but could not say anything else without proof.
The foreign minister added that Riyadh had offered to send identikit photos of local helpers who assisted in the cover-up.
“Why identikit pictures? The Saudis know the names,” he said.
Following Khashoggi’s disappearance, Turkey said it had recordings related to his killing, which it shared with Western allies.
Cavusoglu said he had listened to the recordings.
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