Trudeau demurs on missing Saudi journalist Khashoggi
WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demurred Friday on the darkening mystery surrounding the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, saying only that Canada has “serious issues” with reports the Washington Post columnist was killed by Saudi Arabian operatives inside that country’s consulate in Turkey.
He said Canada has done plenty when it comes to calling the kingdom on the diplomatic carpet over its dismal humanrights record.
“We have been extremely active both in private and in public over many years now around our concern for human rights in Saudi Arabia, and we will continue to be clear and strong in speaking up for human rights around the world, regardless of with whom,” Trudeau told a news conference at la Francophonie’s biennial summit in Armenia.
He said he broached the subject himself during a conversation last spring with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
“We will always endeavour to do it in a constructive way, but we will be ensuring that people know that Canada is unequivocal in standing up for human rights — everywhere, all the time.”
The intrigue surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance has deepened since he was last seen Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The Post reported Friday that Turkey’s government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and killed by a Saudi security team inside the consulate, where he had gone to obtain official documents before his wedding the next day.
The New York Times reported that a Saudi hit squad brought a bone saw and a doctor of forensic medicine to dismember the body.
U.S. President Donald Trump pledged Friday that his government will find out what happened to Khashoggi. U.S. officials said they are not yet accepting the Turkish government’s conclusions.