Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi's final words were 'I can't breathe' - source

Warning: This article contains graphic content that may distress some people.

The final moments of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have reportedly been revealed in a nauseating transcript.

Mr Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He never came out.

What happened inside the building has been the subject of much dispute in the last two months, but it's believed the journalist - who fled his home country of Saudi Arabia in 2017 - was assassinated.

Saudi authorities initially denied Mr Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but later admitted it was the result of a "tremendous mistake".

Many grisly details about his death have been reported on by international media and some of them appear to have been confirmed by a translated transcript of an audio recording of Mr Khashoggi's death. A source close to the investigation provided details of the transcript to CNN, and it makes for gruesome reading.

Beginning the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate with the intention of collecting documents that would allow him to marry his fiancée, the transcript reveals he recognised a man within moments of entering the building and asks him what he's doing there.

A man identified as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, an intelligence official and former colleague of Mr Khashoggi, tells the journalist: "You are coming back."

"You can't do that," Mr Khashoggi then says. "People are waiting outside."

There is then a pause in the dialogue, and the transcript indicates that Mr Khashoggi was ambushed and restrained by several people.

His last words were "I can't breathe", which the transcript indicates he said repeatedly.

CNN reports that the transcript then records a series of non-verbal noises which indicate Mr Khashoggi was violently killed and then immediately dismembered.






Another voice, identified as Dr Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi who is the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry, issues advice to others in the room. He seems to be telling them ways to drown out the horrific sounds of sawing through bone.

"Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me."

The transcript records that Mr Mutreb made several phone calls during Mr Khashoggi's alleged execution and dismemberment.

He seemed to have been updating someone on what was being done to the journalist, finally saying: "The thing is done."

CNN reports that those involved in the investigation believe Mr Khashoggi died in a planned assassination. Surveillance video showed 15 men arriving at the consulate shortly before Mr Khashoggi. A body double dressed in the journalist's clothes could be seen leaving through the back door some time later.

The CIA has advised US officials that it believes Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for ordering Mr Khashoggi's murder. However, President Donald Trump has refused to condemn the crown prince, and Democrats have accused him of lying about the CIA's findings.