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Khashoggi asked Saudis not to suffocate him, audio of murder shows – The Irish Times

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Texts of audio recordings of the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s Istanbul consultate have been published for the first time by the Turkish daily Sabah. The recordings, made by Turkish intelligence, reveal in detail how the 2018 conspiracy to kill Khashoggi unfolded.

Preparations were made as soon as he entered the consulate on September 28th to obtain documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Sabah reports consular intelligence chief Ahmed Abdullah al-Muzaini sent a message in code to Riyadh informing officials of Khashoggi’s visit and his return on October 2nd to receive the material.

This was followed by a phone call from Saudi consul Mohammed al-Otaibi to the office of Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Mr Qahtani’s agent was to lead a “top secret mission” to kill Khashoggi instead of spiriting him back to Saudi Arabia, as Riyadh claimed when the murder became a global scandal.

On October 1st the consul was notified of the arrival of a mysterious 15-member “commission” and decided where its work would be carried out. Ahead of Khashoggi’s arrival at the consulate on October 2nd, commission second-in-command Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb asked Saudi forensic pathologist Salah Mohammed Tubaigy if it was “possible to put the body in a bag?” He replied, “No, too heavy, very tall too.”

He admitted he had “never worked on a warm body” but promised to “manage that easily”. He told other team members to “wrap the parts in plastic bags, put them in suitcases and take them out” of the consulate.