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Canada imposes sanctions on Saudi nationals linked to Khashoggi murder

Last Updated Nov 29, 2018 at 11:37 am PST

FILE: Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Freeland says she has "very worrying" questions about the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian government has announced targeted sanctions, in relation to the killing of a Washington Post journalist in Turkey.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland says the sanctions are being imposed against 17 Saudi nationals the federal government believes are “responsible for or complicit in the extrajudicial and extraterritorial killing of [journalist Jamal Khashoggi].”

The sanctions come under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, and will effectively freeze the individuals’ Canadian assets and they’ll be deemed inadmissible to Canada.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is abhorrent and represents an unconscionable attack on the freedom of expression of all individuals,” Freeland said in a statement.

When asked why the government is not taking tougher action by halting the Saudi arms deal, the minister says Canada is still working with its allies to get answers.

She says the federal government is reviewing its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and adds while this review is underway no new export permits will be granted to the Kingdom.

The government is still calling for a “transparent and rigorous” investigation into the death of the columnist.

Khashoggi is said to have been murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Turkish government says he was killed by a Saudi Arabian hit-squad, and claim his body was dismembered before it was removed from the building.

The Canadian government says it’s committed to supporting human rights defenders, as well as promoting the freedom of the press globally.

“Canada continues to call for a credible and independent investigation. Those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder must be held to account and must face justice,” Freeland added.

The list does not include the Saudi Crown Prince, who is accused of having links to the murder and who is also attending the G20 Summit.