GENEVA: The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, gave new details about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a 100-page inquiry published on Wednesday.

Callamard said her findings were based partially on recordings from inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey before, during and after the killing. Khashoggi arrived at the consulate in Istanbul seeking documents for his upcoming wedding at 1:15pm on Oct 2, 2018. Minutes before, a Saudi official identified as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, can be heard asking whether it would “be possible to put the trunk in a bag?”

A second official, Salah Mohammed Tubaigy, replied “No. Too heavy.” Mutreb said it would “be easy. Joints will be separated... “If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished.” Later, Mutreb asked whether “the sacrificial animal” has arrived, according to the report. Khashoggi was not mentioned by name in the recording. Callamard said she could not establish the exact time of Khashoggi’s death, but that Turkish intelligence assessed he may have died within 10 minutes of entering the consulate.

According to the recordings, a Saudi official told the journalist “we will have to take you back. There is an order from Interpol.” Khashoggi argued that there was no case against him and warned his driver and fiancee were waiting outside. Then a Saudi official can be heard telling him: “Let’s make it short.”

Callamard said the recordings then featured sounds of a struggle, during which officials can be heard saying “Did he sleep?”, “He raises his head”, “Keep pushing”. “Assessments of the recordings by intelligence officers in Turkey and other countries suggest that Mr Khashoggi could have been injected with a sedative and then suffocated using a plastic bag,” the report said.

Sounds of movement and “heavy panting”, as well as the sound of plastic sheets could be heard later in the recording, the report said, adding that Turkish intelligence had concluded these came after Khashoggi’s death “while the Saudi officials were dismembering his body”. Turkish intelligence also identified the sound of a “saw”, it said.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2019

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