Canada ‘heard’ Khashoggi tapes, French FM clueless, says Turkey playing politics

Turkey welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s acknowledgement that his country’s intelligence received and heard the audio tapes on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi while it blasted French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, above, for accusing Ankara of playing political games.

Trudeau was the first western leader to say his country heard the recordings after Turkey sent the tapes to Saudi Arabia, the US, France, Canada, Germany and the UK.

Trudeau made the comment in Paris where he had gone to attend the Peace Forum and the WWI Armistice centenary during the weekend.

He said Canada’s intelligence agencies are working closely with their Turkish counterparts on Khashoggi’s killing and thanked Ergogan for his strong response to the case.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct 2 by a 15-member team that came down  from Riyadh. Since Khashoggi went missing, Saudi Arabia kept changing its narrative about him till it acknowledged that the murder was premeditated. But there is no word yet on the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body.

Media reports said his body could have been chemically dissolved and poured down the drain.

In France, Drian told France 2 TV on Monday that he is not aware of the tapes. By talking about the recordings without sharing them with France, Erdogan is playing political games, he said.

Ankara hit back by saying such accusations are unacceptable.

Turkey’s Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun told AFP that a French intelligence official had listened to the tapes on October 24.

The country’s foreign Minister, Mevlüt Cavusoglu, said the Khashoggi tapes were handed to French intelligence at their request.

The New York Times reported during weekend that a year before Khashoggi’s murder,

Saudi intelligence officials close to Saudi Crown Prince discussed with a group of businessmen killing enemies of the kingdom using private companies.