Newly published transcripts provide insight into the final moments of the Washington Post's Saudi dissident and columnist Jamal Khashoggi, before he was killed by Saudi agents at the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul, Turkey.
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The authenticity of the transcripts, which were first published on Tuesday in the Turkish media, ABC News have been confirmed by Turkish authorities.
The transcripts reveal gruesome details of the murder that overshadowed Saudi relations with the United States at the Consulate, looking for documents for his upcoming marriage to his fiancé Hatice Cengiz. It is unclear how Turkey recorded events during the course of the Saudi Consulate.
Saudi Arabia said the team was a rogue who misinterpreted an old edict to convince Saudi dissidents to return home and accidentally killed Khashoggi. These 1
"Can you put the body in a bag?" Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a high-ranking member of the team, asked 12 minutes before Khashoggi's arrival on 2 October.
Dr. Salah Muhammed Tubaigy, who served as a forensic chief in the Saudi Ministry of Security, responded, "No. Too hard, too big."
"I can cut very well," Tubaigy added. "I've never worked on a warm body, but I can do that." I usually put on my headphones and listen to music when I cut corpses, meanwhile I drink my coffee and smoke, after I disassemble myself. " They wrap the pieces in plastic bags, pack them in suitcases and take them out. "
According to Turkish officials, the team did so and removed Khashoggi's body in five suitcases in pieces. His remains were never found.
In another part of the transcript, Khashoggi was prompted upon his arrival to send a text message to his son. Mutreb told him to "write something like & # 39; I'm in Istanbul, do not worry if you can not reach me."
Khashoggi replied, "How can such a thing happen in a consulate? I'm not writing anything."
"Write it, Mr. Jamal, hurry up, help us so that we can help you, because in the end we will take you back to Saudi Arabia, and if you do not help us, you know, which will happen someday, "returned Mutreb.
"Here is a towel, do you want to drug me?" Asked Khashoggi.
Then Tubaigy came in and said, "We will have you euthanized."
The team then put a plastic bag over his head and smothered him. You could hear shuffling and fighting and gave a few commands, like "push on" and "push well".
Khashoggi's last words were, "I have asthma, do not do it, you'll choke me."
Shortly afterwards the sound of a bone saw sounds.
A United Nations Special Envoy stated in a June report that the killing of Khashoggi was at the highest level of Saudi Arabian power structure and called for further investigations into high-ranking Saudi officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia criticized the report for "many unsubstantiated allegations" and questioned "the report's impartiality and lack of objectivity" and its author, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Agnès Callamard.
The kingdom will never accept an attempt to damage its sovereignty and categorically reject any attempt to remove or in any way influence this matter out of the justice system of the kingdom, "said Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir.
President Donald Trump rejected the investigation equally, saying that he did not address the issue with the Crown Prince in a meeting at the G-20 and told NBC News that the murder had been "heavily investigated." … from all . "
The Trump administration announced that it continues to gather evidence of the murder, but widely accepted the Saudi defense that it was a fraudulent operation conducted by a 15-member team last November under US sanctions.
"We continue to call on the Saudi government to clarify all the facts and hold those responsible responsible for the murder underway, and we are awaiting the conclusion of criminal proceedings in Riyadh," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told ABC News on Tuesday. "If further facts become known, we will consider further measures."
Members of Congress have – in both parties – challenged Trump for his efforts to dismiss Saudi Arabia's role in Khashoggi's death in order to run the business as before.