Canada shared intelligence on murder of Sikh with India weeks ago

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises to make a statement in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 18, 2023. REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada shared evidence that Indian government agents were potentially involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia with New Delhi weeks ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

"Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday with India. We did that many weeks ago," Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa. "We are there to work constructively with India. We hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter."

Trudeau said on Monday that Ottawa had credible intelligence linking Indian government agents to the murder in June of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, prompting an angry reaction from New Delhi. Nijjar, 45, was a Canadian citizen.

The Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation into the Sikh separatist leader's murder, CBC News reported separately on Thursday citing sources.

The report said the intelligence included communications of Indian officials present in Canada, adding that some of the information was provided by an unidentified ally in the Five Eyes alliance.

Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing network that includes the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

However, Trudeau has not provided any details about what Canada's spy agencies have collected, and his office has not confirmed or denied the CBC report.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday the United States wanted to see "accountability" over the killing.

"We are deeply concerned about the allegations that Prime Minister Trudeau has raised," Blinken told reporters in a press briefing.

The White House has raised similar concerns, but Blinken is the most senior U.S. official to have commented on the issue thus far.

"We have been consulting throughout very closely with our Canadian colleagues, not just consulting but coordinating with them on this issue," Blinken said.

"It would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation. We want to see accountability," he added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Explainer-What Ukraine needs to do to keep its EU membership bid alive
Europe's support for Ukraine teeters as Hungary plays hardball
Cate Blanchett calls for focus on education, refugee experience at forum
All eyes on Polish parliament as Tusk set to become PM
Ukraine says Russian ballistic missile strike on Kyiv injures four
Japan PM pledges to 'restore trust' as fundraising scandal rocks government
UK PM Sunak battles to unite divided party in pivotal week
Australia plans to halve migrant intake, tighten student visa rules
Mother of jailed Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzman dies -local media
Learn to forget? How to rein in a rogue chatbot

Others Also Read