Canada sanctions 17 Saudis linked to journalist Khashoggi killing

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Canada will sanction 17 Saudi Arabian nationals linked to the October killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday — a move announced on the eve of the G20 summit to be attended by the kingdom’s crown prince.

The federal government looked closely at the involvement of each person it sanctioned, Freeland said, and concluded they were either directly involved or complicit in Khashoggi’s October murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The dissident writer, who lived in exile in the United States, went to the consulate in Istanbul to get papers for his impending marriage and didn’t come out.

The sanctions freeze the targets’ Canadian assets, she said, and make them inadmissible to Canada.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed its own sanctions on Saudi officials for the same reason.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is abhorrent and represents an unconscionable attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” Freeland said.

Canada walked a fine line as it unveiled its sanctions on Thursday, not making a direct link between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the writer’s murder in Freeland’s public remarks or in documents associated with the announcement.

Freeland defended that position, saying Canada wants a credible, transparent investigation to identify all involved in an act “so serious and so odious” as Khashoggi’s death.

“It’s very important to act and to speak only on the basis of real certainty,” she said. “These are not steps that we take lightly, they are not accusations that we can make lightly.”

Canada and other countries face the difficulty of how to handle bin Salman, known as MBS, at the G20 summit set to begin Friday.

The trip is the highest-profile overseas junket for the crown prince since Khashoggi’s murder and it is expected to be an opportunity for other leaders to press him on what happened and why.

Freeland would not say whether Canadians will speak with Saudis during the meeting of the world’s top economic leaders in Buenos Aires.

As part of an examination of Khashoggi’s death, the head of Canada’s spy agency was dispatched to Turkey earlier in November to gather information and listen to a recording Turkish authorities have of Khashoggi’s killing.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault briefed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as other top officials upon his return.

Khashoggi’s murder — which sparked international condemnation of Riyadh — has also renewed public outrage in Canada over Ottawa’s controversial $15-billion deal to sell light armoured vehicles to the kingdom.

The Trudeau government has faced calls to cancel the armoured-vehicles contract but the prime minister has said the penalty for doing so would be “in the billions of dollars.”

The federal NDP said Thursday it plans to press the Liberal government to “have the courage” to move beyond sanctions to the immediate cessation of all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

It has been over a month since the prime minister announced the government is reviewing current export permits to the kingdom, said the New Democrats’ foreign-affairs critic Helene Laverdiere.

“This belated and timid response from the government does not address the full scope of challenges in Canada’s relations with Saudi Arabia,” she said.

Amnesty International Canada also welcomed the sanctions — and also said that banning further shipments of armoured vehicles should be part of Canada’s response.

In Buenos Aires, Freeland repeated that Canada is reviewing arms sales to Saudi Arabia in view of Khashoggi’s murder, incredible explanations of his death offered by the kingdom so far (from denying he was dead to saying it was the fault of rogue Saudi agents), and Saudi participation in the civil war in neighbouring Yemen.

“During this period of review, no new arms export permits are being issued,” she said.

For his part, U.S. President Donald Trump has defended his country’s ties to Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi’s murder.

The president has faced accusations of ignoring U.S. intelligence that concluded, according to a U.S. official, that it was likely the crown prince himself ordered the killing.

Several lawmakers have asked the CIA and other top intelligence agencies to say publicly what they have told the president about Khashoggi’s death.

—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Saudi Arabia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whatever snow may possibly fall in Red Deer on the weekend will melt when it hits the warm ground, says meteorologist Kyle Fougere with Environment and Climate Change Canada. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Weather expected to get warmer next week in Red Deer

It’s going to be a cold weekend, according to Environment Canada. Saturday… Continue reading

Retired city manager Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the Molly Banister Drive right-of-way at Tuesday's public hearing. He warns of future gridlock if the extension is removed by city council. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Former Red Deer city manager warns killing the Molly Banister Drive extension is ‘a terrible mistake’

Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the road alignment at next week’s public hearing

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

RCMP estimate about 500 people gathered on the weekend near Garrington Bridge along the Red Deer River, in a July 28, 2020 story. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Second person charged for alleged assault at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

A second person is facing charges following an alleged assault during an… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

kk
Don’t try to teach a turtle tricks

I got Smokey at Woolworths. Woolworths was an awesome department store downtown,… Continue reading

New voluntary measures, including the encouragement of more mask wearing, have been introduced in the Edmonton health zone. “Red Deer has been very fortunate to have relatively low case numbers . . . relative to the rest of the province and the country,” says Mayor Tara Veer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
POLL: Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning in Game 3 of the baseball World Series Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Most Read