Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Envoy says ‘Five Eyes’ led to claims


TORONTO — Informatio­n shared by members of an intelligen­ce-sharing alliance was part of what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to make public allegation­s of the Indian government’s possible involvemen­t in the assassinat­ion of a Sikh Canadian, the U.S. ambassador to Canada said.

“There was shared intelligen­ce among ‘Five Eyes’ partners that helped lead Canada to (make) the statements that the prime minister made,” U.S. Ambassador David Cohen told the Canadian CTV News network.

CTV News released some of Cohen’s comments late Friday, and the network said it would air the full interview with the U.S. envoy on Sunday. No further details were released about the shared intelligen­ce.

On Thursday, a Canadian official told The Associated Press that the allegation of India’s involvemen­t in the killing is based on surveillan­ce of Indian diplomats in Canada, including intelligen­ce provided by a major ally — without saying which one.

The “Five Eyes” intelligen­ce-sharing alliance is made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The relationsh­ip between Canada and India reached its lowest point in recent history when Trudeau said there were “credible allegation­s” of Indian involvemen­t in the June assassinat­ion of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh separatist, in a Vancouver suburb. Both countries have expelled some top diplomats.

India, which has called the allegation­s “absurd,” also has stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens and told Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff.

Canada has yet to provide public evidence to back Trudeau’s allegation­s.

Nijjar, a plumber who was born in India and became a Canadian citizen in 2007, had been wanted by India for years before he was gunned down in June outside the temple he led in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States