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Turkey: Riyadh's refusal to extradite Khashoggi murder suspects 'disappointing'

Turkey: Riyadh's refusal to extradite Khashoggi murder suspects 'disappointing'

A U.S. media report has provided fresh evidence that the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated.

Jamal Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers "I can't breathe" before he died in Istanbul's Saudi consulate, CNN reported.

Some of the details in the transcript seen by CNN's source have emerged in previous reports of the recording's content, but this is the fullest account of the transcript that has so far been published.

Turkish officials obtained a recording of the incident but have not said how.

Altun said Saudi intelligence operatives, including an autopsy expert, travelled to Istanbul for the specific objective of killing Khashoggi.

The transcript continues to note noises heard on the tape, including the sounds of a saw and cutting.

Given Kushner's political inexperience, the private exchanges could make him susceptible to Saudi manipulation, said three former White House officials.

The office of a United States senator who has received a briefing on the investigation by CIA Director Gina Haspel, told CNN that the source's recollections of the transcript are "consistent" with that briefing.

According to the CNN source, the transcript also noted a series of calls made to someone in Riyadh providing updates on the situation.

Fahrettin Altun, director of communications at the Turkish presidency, said Riyadh's refusal to extradite the suspects was very disappointing and would play into the hands of critics "who believe Saudi Arabia has been trying to cover up the murder".

After the White House had imposed restrictions on Kushner's conversations, the two were still continuing their contacts, reaching a point where they have become on a first-name basis with one another.

Initially claiming no involvement, the Saudis later admitted a team of rogue operatives had murdered Khashoggi inside the consulate.

The decision came after Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded the arrests of Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Ahmed al-Asiri, a former deputy intelligence chief over their alleged role in the scribe's murder.

Assiri was frequently present during de facto ruler Mohammed Bin Salman's 's closed-door meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and Qahtani was a key counselor to the crown prince.

Despite the intelligence assessments, the Trump administration has sought to shield its Middle East ally even as members of Congress are mulling action against Saudi Arabia over the murder and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.


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