Jamal Khashoggi was offered a cup of tea before he was drugged, killed and cut into pieces, according to a horrific new report.
The dissident Saudi Arabian journalist began to suspect he was in danger on October 2 when he was offered the hot drink at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.
A member of the ‘kill team’ offered Khashoggi the tea shortly after he entered the consulate and the 59-year-old knew he was in danger, reports the Washington Post.
The paper reports that he accepted the drink but officials told them that a recording of the murder, which has been circulated among western governments, said he had an ‘edge in his voice’.
A member of the team then told the journalist he was going to be taken back to Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi feared he was going to be drugged and abducted.
However the fate that awaited him was far worse.
The Saudi team brought a syringe packed with enough sedative to be lethal, the officials said.
The Washington Post quotes officials who say the recording suggests “there was no intent to take Khashoggi alive”.
It captures the writer gasping for air in a physical struggle before giving way to silence.
The silence is then broken by the sound of an electric motor, presumably the saw that was used to dismember Khashoggi’s body.
One report claimed his body was then dissolved in acid.
It has never been found.
Saudi officials said that the killers entrusted Khashoggi’s remains to an accomplice in Turkey. Turkish authorities said the Saudis have yet to provide any evidence or identify this supposed individual.
Claims that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing have been flatly denied by Saudi Arabian officials.
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday the creation of three new government bodies aimed at improving the country’s intelligence operations in the wake of the murder of Khashoggi.
King Salman ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service in October after the authorities, following initial denials, acknowledged that Khashoggi had been killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate by a team of Saudi intelligence and security agents.
Saudi officials have said, without providing proof, that the 15-man team was put together by the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, whom the king fired along with royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani.
Western allies have called on Riyadh to hold those responsible for the murder accountable.
The Saudi public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five suspects, as the kingdom tries to contain its biggest political crisis for a generation.
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