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Full transcript reveals slain journalist Khashoggi's last words: CNN

The Hill logo The Hill 09/12/2018 Emily Birnbaum

a man holding a sign: Full transcript reveals slain journalist Khashoggi's last words: CNN © The Hill Full transcript reveals slain journalist Khashoggi's last words: CNN A full transcript of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi's final moments reveals that he told his Saudi attackers "I can't breathe," before a team of agents dismembered him, a source who reviewed the transcript told CNN.

Khashoggi, whose October death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul set off an international diplomatic crisis, protested and gasped for air as he was abducted and killed by a group of Saudi agents, some of whom have been identified as top Saudi government officials, the source told CNN.

"You are coming back," a man identified as former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb told Khashoggi, CNN reported. Mutreb intercepted Khashoggi in front of the consulate.

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"You can't do that," Khashoggi replied. "People are waiting outside."

According to the source, citing the transcript, a group of people then began to attack Khashoggi and he gasped for air.

"I can't breathe," Khashoggi said.

The transcript then reads, "Scream. Scream. Gasping."

Video: Kushner reportedly found giving Saudi crown prince advice (Fox News)

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"Saw," it continues, according to CNN's source. "Cutting."

Another man who Turkish authorities have identified as Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry, advised the agents to listen to music as they dismembered Khashoggi's body, the source said.

"Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me," al-Tubaiqi said, according to the transcript.

Mutreb then made a phone call, saying at one point, "Tell yours, the thing is done, it's done." CNN reported the source believes "yours" is a reference to someone's boss.

In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. © AP In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.

Top intelligence officials have heard and reviewed the audio recording, which was obtained by Turkish authorities.

The involvement of Mutreb and al-Tubaiqi was previously known, but the source's account provides the most insight into Khashoggi's final moments.

A Saudi official in a statement to CNN said, "The relevant Saudi security officials have reviewed the transcript and tape materials through Turkish security channels and nowhere in them is there any reference or indication of a call being made."

The transcript directly contradicts multiple official explanations put forward by the Saudi government, including one explanation that accused Khasoggi of getting into a fist fight with a team of rogue agents, and another that implied he could have been on drugs.

The source told CNN that the transcript substantiates the Turkish account of an organized team of Saudi agents assassinating Khashoggi as part of a premeditated mission.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing. CNN's source said it is widely believed Mutreb spoke on the phone to Saud al-Qahtani, bin Salman's closest aide, who has since been removed from his position.

CNN reported the details of the transcript on Sunday, shortly after the New York Times reported that President Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, offered advice to bin Salman about how to "weather the storm" after Khashoggi's death.

Despite pressure from lawmakers and intelligence community conclusions that the crown prince ordered the murder, the president has refused to condemn bin Salman directly for any involvement.

Lawmakers, including many Republicans, have slammed the administration for failing to acknowledge proof that they say leaves little doubt of the crown prince's involvement.

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