Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that sanctions have been imposed against 17 Saudi citizens who were allegedly either responsible for, or linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The ministry said that they would be banned from entering Canada and that their assets in the country would be frozen.
"The sanctions target individuals who are, in the opinion of the Government of Canada, responsible for or complicit in the extrajudicial killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018," the minister said.
The Canadian minister also called for a transparent and rigorous investigation into the journalist's murder, which she called 'abhorrent', and said that those responsible must answer for their actions. Freeland added that the explanations presented by Saudi Arabia so far 'lack consistency and credibility'.
"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is abhorrent and represents an unconscionable attack on the freedom of expression of all individuals. 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," she said.
Freeland said that Canada is still reviewing its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, but noted that so far, the latest major contract on armoured vehicle supplies remains in force.
Previously, Germany and France imposed travel bans on 18 Saudi citizens over their alleged connection to the killing of the Saudi journalist. Neither Paris, nor Berlin revealed the identities of those banned.
The US also imposed sanctions against 17 Saudi individuals, including Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as Mohammed Alotaibi, consul general at Saudi Arabia's Istanbul Consulate.
Saudi Arabia slammed sanctions imposed due to the journalist's death, rejecting "any attempts to undermine [the kingdom] whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure." Riyadh warned other states against ‘jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation'.
Saudi Arabia earlier revealed that the murder of the Saudi journalist writing for The Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi, was organised by a group of ‘rogue agents'. Riyadh insists that the royal family, including the crown prince, did not order the killing and had nothing to do with it.