Dissident Jamal Khashoggi was savagely tortured and murdered within minutes of entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to details of audio recordings in Turkish media.
A team of 15 Saudis was waiting for Khashoggi inside the consulate when he entered on Oct. 2. It was the last time the journalist and former Saudi court insider who became at outspoken critic, was seen.
The agents immediately began torturing and interrogating Khashoggi , who was a Washington Post columnist, in the office of the Saudi consul, Mohammad al-Otaibi. Eventually they cut off his fingers, the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday.
A Turkish official confirmed the details to the New York Times. “Do this outside. You will put me in trouble,” the consul can be heard saying in the recording, according to the reports. “If you want to live when you come back to Arabia, shut up,” one of the agents told Khashoggi.
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Khashoggi was then believed to be dragged into the consul’s study next door and injected with an unknown substance as he screamed and struggled.
A doctor of forensics who had traveled with the agents from Riyadh to Istanbul beheaded and dismembered Khashoggi’s body, offering the Saudi team some advice. Listen to music to ease the tension, he told them. He wore headphones himself.
Yeni Safak reported that the doctor of forensics began cutting up Khashoggi’s body “while he was still alive.” The Saudis have not given an explanation of what happened to Khashoggi.
Trump told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. has asked Turkey for the recordings. “We have asked for it, if it exists,” Trump said, adding that it "probably does, possibly does."