During a Friday speech at an event in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed new details from the audio recording of the Dec. 2 Jamal Khashoggi murder, quoting a section of the tape wherein one of the Saudi killers said, “I know how to cut well.”
“The Saudi intelligence chief is heard saying in the recording that it is a disaster because this man [Khashoggi] has been drugged. ‘I know how to cut well,’ the other man responds. Why? Because he is a forensic expert. He is a senior military guy. Everything is there in the recordings,” Erdogan said at the Jerusalem Platform event on Dec. 14, according to a translation by Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
Erdogan’s commentary provides further context to an earlier CNN report released Monday, which quoted Khashoggi’s final words as revealed in audio Turkish intelligence had captured by bugging the Saudi consulate. CNN’s source relayed that the transcript of the recording reveals that the Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist said “I can’t breathe” followed by screams and “saw” and “cutting” sounds.
According to CNN:
During the course of the gruesome scene, the source describes Khashoggi struggling against a group of people determined to kill him.
“I can’t breathe,” Khashoggi says.
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
The transcript notes the sounds of Khashoggi’s body being dismembered by a saw, as the alleged perpetrators are advised to listen to music to block out the sound.
CNN’s source notes the transcript indicates a series of calls were then made, which Turkish investigators believe were to “senior figures in Riyadh, briefing them on progress.”
Prior international reports have also suggested that these calls included directly informing a top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that their mission was complete.
We’ve noted many times before that the non-stop leaking of horrifying details about the murder of the Saudi insider-turned-dissident in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate has given the burgeoning diplomatic crisis the cadence of a prime-time network drama, with Turkish President Erdogan and his government displaying a knack for showmanship related to the issue almost every chance they get.