Audio of missing journalist being ‘hacked to death’
MISSING Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Apple Watch could have captured gruesome audio of him being tortured and his body cut to pieces.
Shock new claims emerged overnight of evidence that Khashoggi, a strong Saudi critic, was tortured and killed while he was inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
A Turkish newspaper is reporting the contents of the writer's Apple Watch recorded his final, brutal moments.
The Sabah newspaper claims authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account, which were synced up to his watch.
It's believed he gave his phones to his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz before entering the consulate to arrange paperwork for his marriage.
The newspaper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble."
The newspaper said one of the Saudis torturing Khashoggi replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia."
Mohammad al-Otaibi, who left Turkey after the alleged killing, has been relieved of his post and will face an investigation, an official government statement said.
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud has said claims "about orders to kill [Khashoggi] are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom".
The tape, if it is authentic, supposedly reveals Khashoggi had his fingers cut off and his panicked screams as he was dying could reportedly be heard before he was "injected with an unknown drug" and then nothing more is heard from him.
Turkey has also reportedly entered the residence of the Saudi Consul General to Istanbul seeking more evidence over Khashoggi's disappearance.
It comes as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a bodyguard for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was confirmed as a suspect in Khashoggi's disappearance.
"You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured then murdered." Saudi officials say Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering but CCTV suggests otherwise.
"When we arrived at the consulate, he went right in. He told me to alert the Turkish authorities if I did not hear from him soon," his fiancee Ms Cengiz revealed in a New York Times opinion piece.
Meanwhile, Turkish police on Wednesday began a search at the residence of the Saudi consul to Istanbul, in the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in the city, according to an AFP correspondent.
A team of a dozen police and prosecutors, including forensics experts in white overalls, entered the residence of Mohammed al-Otaibi, a day after he flew out of Istanbul for Riyadh.
Sources earlier told the US website Daily Beast that a general was given approval to interrogate Khashoggi from the Crown Prince on suspicion he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But the general reportedly "botched" the interrogations and killed the journalist.
That is in keeping with US President Donald Trump's comment that the journalist was killed by a "rogue killer".
A statement from the G7 foreign ministers called for those responsible to be "held to account".
"We remain very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"Those bearing responsibility for his disappearance must be held to account. We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation, as announced."