Murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers "I can’t breathe" during his final moments in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to leaked excerpts from a transcript.
The Washington Post columnist is said to have recognised one of the men, General Maher Mutreb, whom he had worked with briefly at the embassy in London. The man alleged to be Gen. Mutreb told him: "You are coming back".
Khashoggi replied: "You can’t do that…people are waiting outside," CNN reported.
Hatice Cengiz, his Turkish fiancee, waited for hours outside the consulate on Oct. 2 and, when he did not return, contacted Turkish authorities about his disappearance.
As a number of people set upon Khashoggi, he started fighting for air, repeating, "I can’t breathe" at least three times.
The transcript then used singular words to describe the noises, including "scream", "gasping", "saw", and "cutting".
Turkish sources told Reuters a bone saw was used to dismember the journalist. There was no further dialogue in the relatively short transcript, prepared by Turkish authorities.
The transcript included no further mention of returning Khashoggi to Riyadh, and no indication that he had been drugged – as Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor had claimed in November.
Gen. Mutreb, a senior intelligence officer who is part of the security team of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. called officials and gave step-by-step details of the operation, CNN reported, finally saying: "Tell yours, the thing is done, it’s done".
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi’s foreign minister, on Monday refused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s request to extradite the suspects for trial in Turkey.
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