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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi can be heard ordering his killers to release him in the audio recording of his murder, before one of the killers shouts: ‘Traitor! You will be brought to account,’ according to Turkish media.
The audio allegedly also includes a conversation between members of the ‘hit squad’ during which one of them complains about having to wear Khashoggi’s clothing to act as a decoy after his murder.
The 59-year-old Washington Post journalist was last seen entering the building on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
According to Turkish officials, the audio recording shows that Khashoggi was strangled to death and dismembered soon after entering the consulate.
The journalist can be heard saying ‘Release my arm! What do you think you are doing?,’ shortly after entering the consulate in Istanbul, according to Haberturk.
This is followed by ‘a verbal quarrel, noises of a physical fight and then beating and torture’, the newspaper reported.
More than an hour after Khashoggi enters the consulate, a male voice can allegedly be heard saying ‘it is spooky to wear the clothes of a man whom we killed 20 minutes ago.’
He complains about Khashoggi’s shoes being too small, and is told he is allowed to wear his own trainers.
This is thought to be the voice of a man identified by Turkish officials as Mustafa al-Madani, who was captured on CCTV walking by Istanbul’s famous Blue Mosque in what appears to be Khashoggi’s clothes, a few hours later.
In the footage he can be seen wearing black and white trainers – different to Khashoggi’s black leather shoes clearly visible on the CCTV from the moment when he entered the consulate.
Saudi Arabia has offered shifting accounts of what happened, initially saying Khashoggi left the embassy after receiving his documents and later that he was killed when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.
In the latest version, the Saudi prosecutor said a 15-member team went to Istanbul to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom ‘by means of persuasion’, but killed him instead in a rogue operation.
Despite allegations of the contrary, the Saudi prosecutor last week exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of involvement in the murder.
Saudi Arabia has called for the death penalty against five men, announced indictments against 11 people and said a total of 21 individuals were in custody in connection with the killing.
The United States has sanctioned 17 Saudis for the crime, including close aides of Prince Mohammed, and is set to make final conclusions this week over the killing.
President Donald Trump, who has praised Saudi Arabia as a ‘truly spectacular ally’, has refrained from blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the the CIA’s reported assessment that he was behind the killing.
The quotes from the audio were published a day after Turkey’s foreign minister met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discussed the murder.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed Yemen, Syria and the murder of Khashoggi during a brief meeting with Guterres at UN headquarters in New York, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Turkey has called for an international investigation of the killing of Khashoggi, but there was no formal request for a UN investigation, a spokesman said.
The UN spokesman said Guterres would want to have support from a UN body such as the Security Council or the General Assembly to set up an investigation.
The United Nations has previously investigated the death of Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a UN-backed special tribunal was set up to try those responsible for the assassination of Lebanon’s ex-prime minister Rafic Hariri.