Khashoggi’s Last Words: I’m Suffocating
A senior Turkish journalist told Al Jazeera what Khashoggi's last words were, according to an unpublished audio recording.
Photo from Ukrinform
Jamal Khashoggi’s last words were “I’m suffocating … Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic,” according to an audio recording from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the head of investigations at the Turkish Sabah newspaper, Nazif Karaman, told Al Jazeera.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, suffocated to death while a plastic bag covered his head. Judging by the audio recording, the strangulation lasted about seven minutes, Karaman said.
According to Karaman, the Saudi entourage covered the floor with plastic bags before dismembering Khashoggi’s body, a 15-minute process that was led by Salah al-Tubaigy, head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics.
He added that the Daily Sabah will soon publish photos of the tools that were brought into the country and used by the Saudi group, and release some of the recordings of the last moments of Khashoggi’s life.
Early in October, Khashoggi, the Saudi opposition journalist, who wrote materials for the Washington Post, entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in order to obtain documents related to his planned marriage. As no CCTV recorded him exiting the consulate, he was declared a missing person.
Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, after an investigation, revealed that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and that his body was dismembered.
Saudi Arabia has said that it arrested 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials. Turkey, meanwhile, seeks extradition of the suspects.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that audio related to Khashoggi’s murder was shared with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain. He said that Saudi Arabia knows Khashoggi’s killer is among a group of 15 people who flew into Istanbul hours before the Oct. 2 incident.
Khashoggi was 59 years old when he was killed. He is survived by his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and four children from a previous marriage.
Born in Medina in 1958, Khashoggi was once close to the inner circles of the Saudi royal family, where he earned his reputation as a reformist by pushing the boundaries by critically questioning Saudi’s regional and domestic policies.
He studied journalism at Indiana University in the U.S. and began his career as a correspondent for the English language Saudi Gazette newspaper.
From 1987 until 1990, he reported for the London-based and Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat daily. He also spent eight years writing for the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.
Khashoggi was best known for his coverage of Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait and the Middle East in the 1990s. He met and interviewed Osama bin Laden several times in the middle of the decade, before the latter went on to become the leader of the al-Qaeda group.