Explosive audio of a secret phone call could spell the end for the Saudi Crown Prince.
Explosive audio of a secret phone call could spell the end for the Saudi Crown Prince.

‘Atrocious’: New detail on killing tape

Syringes, staplers and a "sharp object that looked like a scalpel" were among the disturbing contents of suitcases carried by the 15-member "hit squad" who allegedly murdered Jamal Khashoggi.

X-rays of the luggage belonging to the team who left Istanbul between 6.20pm and 10.46pm on the day of the killing were published by Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah. The suitcases also included technical equipment including walkie-talkies, tasers and jammers, Sabah reported.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the audio of the journalist's killing was so "atrocious" one Saudi official who heard it speculated that "only someone who took heroin" could commit the crime.

 

"The recording is truly atrocious," Mr Erdogan told reporters, according to another pro-government newspaper, Yeni Safak. "In fact, when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recording he was so shocked that he said 'this one probably took heroin. Only someone who took heroin would do it.'"

He did not elaborate on how and when the Saudi official heard the recording of the killing.

His comments came after a recorded phone call linked the Washington Post columnist's death to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, as Turkey drip-feeds information on the murder to the press.

A member of the 15-man "hit squad" that allegedly killed the Saudi citizen reportedly said in a phone call with a superior afterwards to "tell your boss" the murder mission had been completed.

The phone call was made by Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb in Arabic.

A recording of it, shared last month with CIA director Gina Haspel, is seen as some of the strongest evidence linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder, The New York Times reports.

The phone call did not mention the Prince by name, but the newspaper says US intelligence officials believe "your boss" was a reference to the young ruler, while Turkish intelligence officers said they thought he was speaking to one of Bin Salman's aides.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the Crown Prince had any knowledge of Khashoggi's murder.

The kingdom denied the recording's contents in a statement today, saying Turkey had "allowed our intelligence services to hear recordings, and at no moment was there any reference to the mentioned phrase in the such recordings".

It comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed overnight that officials of his government had listened to audio recordings capturing the murder of the columnist.

"Canada's intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share," Mr Trudeau said at a press conference in Paris. "We continue to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and we are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to the next steps toward Saudi Arabia."

He stressed he had not heard the recordings himself.

Germany has also confirmed intelligence sharing with Turkish officials over Khashoggi's killing, but did not specify whether that included an audiotape.

"There was an exchange of information in the field of intelligence," government spokesman Steffen Siebert told reporters.

 

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied that the Crown Prince had any knowledge of Khashoggi’s murder.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied that the Crown Prince had any knowledge of Khashoggi’s murder.

UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt travelled to Riyadh earlier this week, saying he would demand answers about Khashoggi's murder and call for an end to the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Mr Erdogan said he had shared the audio with Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US, Germany and France.

Over the weekend, the head of investigations at the Turkish daily newspaper Sabah revealed Khashoggi's last words to Al Jazeera.

"I'm suffocating … Take this bag off my head, I'm claustrophobic," the murdered columnist reportedly said.

The murder lasted about seven minutes, according to the recording.

The leading investigator said Sabah would soon publish images of the tools brought into the country and used by the gang of Saudi murderers.


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