The investigations’ head of the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper said that killed dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi‘s last words were “I’m suffocating … Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic”, according to an unpublished audio recording from inside the Saudi’s Istanbul consulate, Al Jazeera reported.
Saudi Arabia has admitted that the Saudi critic died in a premeditated murder inside its Istanbul consulate – after weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.
Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.
ALSO READ: Crimes against Journalists: Who was Jamal Khashoggi and what his killing means for press freedom
Officially, Saudi officials have claimed to cooperate with Turkish authorities. However, as per the AJ report, they have not only refused to cooperate but possibly tamper with the investigation, by sending in chemical experts in the saudi counsel general’s home to destroy evidence.
Karaman said the murder lasted for about seven minutes, according to the recordings, the report stated. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that the audio had been shared with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain.
He said Saudi Arabia knows Khashoggi’s killer is among a group of 15 people who flew into Istanbul hours before the October 2 incident.
According to Karaman, the Saudi entourage covered the floor with plastic bags before dismembering Khashoggi’s body – a 15-minute process that was led by Salah al-Tubaigy, head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics, the report said.
ALSO READ: Khashoggi killing: Turkish police ‘end search’ for killed journalist’s body, criminal investigation to continue
Karaman said that Daily Sabah would soon publish images of the tools that were brought into the country and used by the Saudi group.
He added the Turkish newspaper would also publish some of the recordings that document the last moments of Khashoggi’s life.
Meanwhile, a New York Times report has said that Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with businessmen in 2017 to discuss manoeuvres to sabotage Iran’s economy and broached the possibility of killing Iranian enemies of the kingdom.
During the meeting, Saudi officials asked the businessmen if they “conducted kinetics” – a term used to refere to assassinations – to kill Qassim Suleimani, the leader of the specialised Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the paper reported.
ALSO READ: “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy,” say sons of killed Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi
“Their discussions, more than a year before the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, indicate that top Saudi officials have considered assassinations since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent,” wrote The Times.