Canada joins chorus of countries questioning Saudi’s Khashoggi explanation



Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement Saturday responding to Saudi Arabia’s explanation following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying it lacked “consistency and credibility.”

“Canada condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul,” the statement read.

“The explanations offered to date lack consistency and credibility.”

Saudi Arabia said in a state newscast Friday that Khashoggi died as a result of a “fist fight” in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2.

Khashoggi was a prominent journalist with a column in the Washington Post who was critical of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was living in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s explanation conflicts with reports from Turkish officials that Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered in the consulate by a Saudi assassination squad with ties to the crown prince.

Canada’s skepticism of Saudi Arabia’s claims comes as other countries are expressing their doubts as well.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he is “not satisfied until we find the answer” to Khashoggi’s death. He had earlier called the Saudi narrative credible.

Germany has called the explanation “inadequate,” while France and the European Union urged an in-depth investigation to find what happened to the Washington Post columnist.

Canada is also calling for a “thorough investigation, in full collaboration with the Turkish authorities.”

“Those responsible for the killing must be held to account and must face justice,” Freeland’s statement read.

Turkey continues to investigate the death, with a senior Turkey official saying Saturday that Turkish investigators are likely to find what happened to the body “before long.”

Officials told Reuters in Turkey on Thursday that Khashoggi‘s remains may have been dumped in Belgrad Forest, adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, 90 kilometres south of Istanbul.

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