Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 (Image: PTI File)
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi urged his killers not to cover his mouth because he could suffocate, new reports have revealed. In his final words, the slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi urged his killers not to cover his mouth because he suffered from asthma, according to Turkey’s Sabah newspaper.
Sabah newspaper, considered close to Turkey's government, published new details of a recording of Khashoggi's conversation with members of a Saudi hit squad sent to kill him.
The paper said the recording of Khashoggi's killing and reported dismemberment at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 was obtained by Turkey's intelligence agency.
According to the report in Sabah, a member of the Saudi hit squad Maher Mutreb told Khashoggi that he had to be taken back to Riyadh because of an Interpol order against him. The journalist objected saying there was no legal case against him and that his fiancee was waiting for him outside.
Mutreb and another man were also heard trying to force Khashoggi to send his son a message telling him not to worry if he doesn't hear from him, according to the paper. Khashoggi resisted saying, "I will write nothing."
Mutreb is later heard saying: "Help us, so that we can help you. Because in the end, we will take you to Saudi Arabia. And if you don't help us, you know what will happen in the end."
Sabah also published Khashoggi's last words before he was apparently drugged and lost consciousness.
"Don't cover my mouth," he told his killers, according to Sabah. "I have asthma, don't do it. You'll suffocate me."
It is widely believed that Khashoggi was killed at orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. A UN report has also alleged that Saudi Arabia bears responsibility for the killing and Mohammed bin Salman's role in the killing should be examined.
The prince has denied any involvement in the slaying. Saudi Arabia initially offered multiple and different accounts about Khashoggi's disappearance.
However, as international pressure mounted, it settled on the explanation that he was killed by rogue officials in a brawl inside their consulate. The kingdom has put 11 people on trial in non-public proceedings.
Khashoggi's remains have not been found yet.