Trudeau Government Wants ‘Credible Investigation’ Into Saudi Role In Khashoggi’s Death

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wants “a credible and transparent investigation” into what happened to Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Freeland told the Globe and Mail Friday that “names have to be named and responsibility has to be borne.”

Freeland made the comments before the Saudi government admitted that Khashoggi was indeed dead — though according to the kingdom, the former Washington Post columnist had been on the unlucky end of a fight, and there was no mention of torture, murder or dismemberment. (RELATED: Saudi Doctor Prescribed Music For Those Watching Journalist Getting Murdered, Dismembered)

Members of Human Rights Association (IHD) hold portraits of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi reading "Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2" during a demonstration outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 9, 2018. KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Members of Human Rights Association (IHD) hold portraits of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

“Those responsible must be named, they have to be called to account, they have to bear full responsibility for this. That is something that, speaking for Canada, we are insisting on,” Freeland told the Globe.

Even before the Saudis issued a statement on Khashoggi’s death, Freeland was doubting the veracity of Saudi reports.

“There’s a lot of information that has been made public, and the direction that that is pointing is extremely worrying,” Freeland told the Globe.

“This is extremely serious, and it’s important to be absolutely sure of the facts, and absolutely sure of who is responsible. But the amount of time it takes to have that certainty can also not be infinite.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland during news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Canada remains in a diplomatic battle with Saudi Arabia after Freeland tweeted criticism of the Saudi government’s treatment of civil rights activists.

Freeland told the Globe that Canada continues to discuss the Khashoggi incident with those concerned.

“We’re talking to Turkey, we’re talking to Saudi Arabia and we’re talking to our allies more broadly. There’s a very close co-ordination and very close conversation among key NATO and key G7 allies on this issue,” she said. (RELATED: Saudi Arabia Tells Canada To Stop Treating Mideast State Like ‘A Banana Republic’)

The foreign affairs minister hesitated to name any specific actions Canada would take against Saudi Arabia if the government is proven to be liable for Khashoggi’s death, but she suggested there would be harsh ramifications.

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