WATCH: CCTV SHOWS MISSING JOURNALIST KHASHOGGI ENTERING THE SAUDI EMBASSY IN TURKEY AND 15 SAUDIS ARRIVING THE SAME DAY
Mr Khashoggi, 60, a critic of the Saudi leadership, was last seen entering the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.
Turkish officials have said they have recorded evidence that he was assassinated by a 15-strong hit squad who flew in on a private jet.
And now, a source has claimed that Mr Khashoggi was cut up alive by the squad – who listened to music while dismembering his body.
The Turkish source, who has allegedly listened to an audio recording of the journalist’s last moments, says it took seven minutes for him to die.
“They had come to kill him,” the source told Middle East Eye (MEE).
It is claimed that Mr Khashoggi was dragged from the Consul General’s office into his study next door, where he was dumped on a table.
Loud screams could then be heard – which only stopped when he was injected with an unknown substance, according to the source.
Moments later, his body was allegedly cut up by the squad.
Forensic evidence expert Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy has been identified by Turkey as a suspect in the killing and dismemberment.
The source told MEE that Mr Tubaigy listened to music via earphones as he cut up the reporter’s body while he was still breathing.
He allegedly advised his accomplices to do the same.
“When I do this job, I listen to music. You should do [that] too,” Mr Tubaigy could be heard saying in the recording, the source said.
Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance, which has made headlines across the world.
The shocking new claims come as Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara.
The pair will meet today, the Turkish foreign ministry said, with their talks expected to focus on Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will also meet with his American counterpart, the ministry added.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump sensationally gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.
US lawmakers have pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership, while Western pressure has mounted on Riyadh to provide answers.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Mr Trump said if Saudi Arabia knew what happened in the disappearance, “that would be bad.”
“I think we have to find out what happened first,” he said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, he also drew comparisons with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court scandal, adding: “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that.”
The 15 suspects identified by Turkey are accused of dismembering the journalist’s body with a bone saw, the New York Times (NYT) reports.
At least nine of the suspects worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries, according to the newspaper.
It is alleged they flew out the same day as the killing, and brought the saw with them for the purpose of chopping up Mr Khashoggi’s body.
According to the NYT, records show that two private jets chartered by a Saudi firm arrived and departed from Istanbul on October 2.
Mr Khashoggi, a US resident, wrote columns for the Washington Post and was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.Mr Trump earlier tweeted that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied knowing what happened in the Saudi consulate.
The latest claims follow US media reports that Saudi Arabia will admit the vanished journalist died following a botched interrogation.