An audio recording has revealed the harrowing last words of journalist Jamal Khahsoggi as he was brutally killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
A source, who read a translated transcript of the recording, said that the journalist repeated several times ‘I can’t breathe’ moments before his death.
The recording also captured the horrific sounds of Khashoggi’s body being dismembered with a saw – while his alleged killers were told to listen to music to block out the noise.
The shocking recording has thrown even more doubt on Saudi claims that the killing was a botched rendition attempt and not an execution.
Khashoggi can be heard struggling against his captors – who make a series of phone calls during his torture.
The calls suggest that the killers were keeping higher-ups updated with their butchering of the journalist.
Turkish officials claim the calls were made to senior figures in Riyadh.
The transcript, shared by CNN, tracks the moment Khashoggi first entered the consulate to pick up papers that would let him marry his Turkish finacee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting for him outside.
It was supposed to be a routine appointment, but the journalist was then confronted by a man he recognised and did not expect to be at the consulate.
Khashoggi can be heard asking the man what he is doing there.
According to CNN, the man is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official working for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and known to Khashoggi from their time together at the Saudi Embassy in London.
He can be heard telling Khashoggi: ‘You are coming back’.
The journalist can be heard arguing back and saying that there are people waiting for him outside.
He is believed to have told his waiting fiancee to call associates if he didn’t return.
Khashoggi is then set on by a several people, according to the transcript.
Despite Saudi officials suggesting he was accidentally choked to death, the journalist can be heard repeating: ‘I can’t breathe.’
The transcript notes that Khashoggi screams and gasps before dying and his body is then sawed.
The only other person named in the transcript is Dr Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry
Tubaiqi can be heard advising people to listen to music as they dismember the dead journalist.
Mutreb, who is updating someone throughout, then says: ‘Tell yours, the thing is done, it’s done.’
According to CNN, the transcript has been circulated to Turkish and Saudi allies, including those in Europe, but only the United States and Saudi Arabia have received the recording itself.
The office of one US senator, who has received a briefing on the investigation by CIA Director Gina Haspel, told CNN that the source’s recollections of the transcript are ‘consistent’ with that briefing.