THE death squad that killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi branded him an “animal to be sacrificed”, it has been reported.
The outspoken critic of the desert kingdom’s government was last seen entering the country’s consulate in Istanbul but was reportedly hacked to pieces by his killers.
Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper has published new details of a recording of Khashoggi’s conversation with members of a Saudi hit squad, after he went to obtain papers to marry his Turkish fiancé.
The paper says the recording of the 59-year-old’s grisly killing in October 2018 was obtained by Turkey’s intelligence agency.
Prior to his arrival Khashoggi’s arrival Maher Mutreb, a senior Saudi intelligence officer, can be heard asking whether the “animal to be sacrificed” has arrived.
At 1:14 p.m., an unidentified member of the hit squad tells Mutreb, a bodyguard of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said the journalist “is here”.
Earlier Dr Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic evidence at the Saudi General Security Department, was recorded chillingly discussing how he cuts up bodies.
According to recordings, when Khashoggi arrives at the consulate, his reaction indicates he his greeted by a familiar face or someone he knows.
He is then invited to go the consul’s office on the second floor but starts to become suspicious.
The journalist is then is pulled by the arm and he then says: “Let me go, what do you think you’re doing?”
The chilling last moments of Jamal Khashoggi
A recording obtained from Turkish intelligence, the journalist can reportedly be heard making his final breath.
Those allegedly responsible can also be heard discussing the grisly killing, according to the Daily Sabah’s transcript of the conversation.
At the beginning of the recording Dr Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic evidence at the Saudi General Security Department, can be heard in with intelligence office Maher Mutreb.
Mutreb asks: “Is it possible to put the body in a bag?”
Al-Tubaigy replies: “No. Too heavy, very tall too. Actually, I’ve always worked on cadavers. I know how to cut very well. I have never worked on a warm body though, but I’ll also manage that easily.
“I normally put on my earphones and listen to music when I cut cadavers. In the meantime, I sip on my coffee and smoke.
“After I dismember it, you will wrap the parts into plastic bags, put them in suitcases and take them out.”
When Mr Khashoggi was in the room with his killers, Mutreb says: “Please sit. We have to take you back [to Riyadh]. There is an order from Interpol. Interpol demanded you be returned. We are here to take you.”
Later he was told to write a message to his son telling him not to worry if he is not heard from but he said: “I will write nothing.”
During the conversation, another hit squad member who is playing the “bad cop” keeps saying: “Cut it short.”
Khashoggi then asks; “There is a towel here. Will you have me drugged?
Al-Tubaigy replies: “We will put you to sleep.”
After he was drugged, Khashoggi utters his last words: “Don’t cover my mouth. I have asthma, don’t do it. You’ll suffocate me.”
By that time a plastic bag was already on his head and according to the Daily Sabah, scuffling and struggling can be heard in the recordings.
Members of the hit squard can he heard saying “is he asleep?”, “he’s raising his head,” “keep pushing” and “push it well”.
When was in the room with his killers, Mutreb, tells him he has to be taken back to Riyadh because of an Interpol order against him.
The journalist objects, saying there is no legal case against him and that his fiancee is waiting for him outside.
He is asked to leave a message for his son and told he will be taken back to Saudi Arabia “eventually”.
The hit squad eventually drugged Khashoggi who can be heard pleading with them.
Saudi Arabia initially offered multiple, shifting accounts about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
As international pressure mounted, the kingdom eventually settled on the explanation that he was killed by rogue officials in a brawl inside their consulate.
The kingdom has put 11 people on trial in non-public proceedings.
The 33-year-old Crown Prince, who continues to have the support of his father, King Salman, denies any involvement in the slaying.
Khashoggi’s remains have never been found.
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