Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first Western leader on Monday to acknowledge that his country has received recordings of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Canada was fully informed about what Turkey had to share,” Trudeau told the Canadian embassy in Paris, where she participated in the Peace Forum following the commemorations of the Armistice of the First World War.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he provided recordings “to Saudi Arabia, America [United States], to the Germans, French, British, to all of them.”
The head of the Canadian government is the first since that announcement to officially confirm that his country’s intelligence services have listened to the audio recording.
Trudeau said he did not personally listen to the records, and that he would not provide details on the content of the recordings.
The Canadian prime minister also thanked Erdogan for “his commitment to respond to the situation of Khashoggi.”
However, France’s position on Erdogan’s statements about the sharing of recordings remains divergent.
Today, when questioned by France 2, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was “unaware” that Turkey had provided the French Government with any tape, and suggested that the Turks are process of fun.
“If the Turkish President has information to give us, he will have to give us,” said Le Drian.
“It means that in this situation he is playing a political game,” he added, referring to Erdogan.
CIA director Gina Haspel, who came to Turkey in October to gather intelligence on the investigation, will have already heard audio tapes about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The existence of the recordings was, however, revealed to the media, only confirmed last week.
The Turkish prosecutor’s office recently stated that 59-year-old Khashoggi was strangled and later dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, where he had come in to get a document to marry a Turkish citizen.
According to the Turkish authorities, the journalist was expected at the consulate by a command of 15 Saudi agents who traveled to the Turkish city a few hours earlier and returned to Saudi Arabia that same night.
The Turkish President has recently stated in a column in the Washington Post that he is certain that the order to kill the dissident journalist came from “the highest level” of Saudi Arabia’s power.
The Saudi journalist, who was collaborating with The Washington Post, had been in exile in the United States since 2017 and was a well-known critic of power in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia admitted that Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after several days of Riyadh officials saying he had left the consulate alive.