Turkish newspaper: Khashoggi recorded asking killers not to suffocate him
A Turkish newspaper says it has obtained audio recordings of the events leading up to the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, reporting that he asked his killers not to suffocate him in his final words.
Sabah newspaper, which published transcribed quotes of the audio, is close to Turkey’s government, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The paper reported Monday that Khashoggi, who was killed in October 2018, allegedly said on the tape that he saw a towel and asked whether he would be drugged.
Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, who the newspaper said was “in charge of dismembering Khashoggi’s body” reportedly replied, “We will put you to sleep.”
“Do not keep my mouth closed,” Khashoggi is then quoted as saying. “I have asthma. Do not do it, you will suffocate me.”
Sabah reported that before Khashoggi arrived, Al-Tubaigy discussed the dismemberment with Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, who, according to the newspaper, was “the number two man of the hit squad.”
“After I dismember it, you will wrap the parts into plastic bags, put them in suitcases and take them out [of the building],” Al-Tubaigy reportedly said.
Khashoggi was killed by Saudi operatives after entering the nation’s consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government initially said it was not aware of the killing, later saying the U.S. resident was slain by rogue officials.
A United Nations probe, which included details backed up by Sabah’s report, said there was “credible evidence” supporting Saudi Arabia’s responsibility for the “deliberate, premeditated execution” of Khashoggi, who had written critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The U.N. believes the crown prince ordered the assassination, a conclusion allegedly backed up by the CIA.
Bin Salman has denied any role in the killing, and Riyadh has reportedly put 11 people on trial for the crime in nonpublic proceedings.
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