Jamal Khashoggi’s final words were “I can’t breathe,” CNN said Sunday, citing a source who has read the transcript of an audio tape of the final moments before the journalist’s murder.
The source told the US News network, CNN, that the transcript made it clear that the killing was premeditated and suggests several phone calls were made to give briefings on the progress.
The transcript of the gruesome recording includes descriptions of Khashoggi struggling for his life against his killers, Saying ‘I can’t breathe’……….. ‘I can’t breathe’ ………. ‘I can’t Breathe’ as life was slowly and painfully taken from his body.
Followed by the gruesome sounds of the journalist’s body “being dismembered by a saw.” The killers are advised to listen to music to drown out the sounds of the saw cutting through bones.
The original transcript was prepared by Turkish intelligence services, and CNN said its source read a translated version and was briefed into the journalist’s death.
Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, was killed shortly after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Turkish officials have also stated that they believe those calls were made to top officials in Riyadh.
President Erdogan has repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia to hand over suspects in the killing. According to Turkey, a 15-member Saudi team was sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi.
For his part US President Donald Trump has refrained from blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, even though the CIA report which concluded that he ordered the assassination.
Some of the details in the transcript seen by CNN’s source have emerged in previous reports of the recording’s content. But this is the fullest account of the transcript that has so far been published.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Sunday meanwhile rejected demands to extradite suspects connected to the murder of Khashoggi as sought by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Saudi Arabia, however, holds that it was a “rogue” operation gone wrong — a claim undercut by the reported transcript.