Speaking at a press conference in Paris, Justin Trudeau said that Canadian authorities have listened to an audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's last moments from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 in order to finalize his divorce. He never walked back out. It soon became apparent that he had become the victim of foul play.
Shortly after Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkish authorities reported that Khashoggi had been killed and that they had a recording to prove this. They went on to describe these tapes, but never made them public and seemed reluctant to turn them over to authorities from any other nations.
What did Trudeau say?
“Canada's intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish intelligence,” Trudeau told reporters in Paris. “And Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share.” He clarified that he himself had not heard the recordings.
He added, “I had a conversation with Erdoğan a couple of weeks ago, and here in Paris we had brief exchanges and I thanked him for his strength in responding to the Khashoggi situation.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that copies of these recordings had been given to “to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know.”
But French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denied this during a TV interview, saying that France still had not been given copies of the tapes. Le Drian accused Erdogan of having “a political game to play in these circumstances,” before insisting, “If the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us.”
Erdogan's communication's director shot back that what Le Drian had said was not accurate. “Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey’s determined efforts,” he said, insisting that “evidence pertaining to the Khashoggi murder has also been shared with the relevant agencies of the French government.”
The head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service and CIA Director Gina Haspel have both reportedly heard the recording in Turkey, but it is unclear if they were given copies.
While Turkey has been at the forefront of the Khashoggi investigation, its own government’s track record when it comes to journalists is far from stellar. According to the nonprofit group, Committee to Protect Journalists, on Dec. 1, 2017, Turkey had 73 journalists in its prisons. On that same date, Saudi Arabia had only seven.
While Erdogan and his regime are no friends to journalists, they are also no friends to the Saudis. Turkey has been quick to point out Saudi guilt in this situation because it makes the Saudis look bad on the world stage.