Trudeau de­murs on miss­ing Saudi jour­nal­ist Khashoggi

Times Colonist - - Canada / World -

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.

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