135676
132118

Canada  

Trudeau 'friend' bowed out

 

A man convicted of attempted murder who was invited to a dinner reception with Justin Trudeau in India says he has a friendly relationship with the prime minister, and stayed away to save him from further embarrassment.

But the Prime Minister's Office says there is no merit to the assertions by Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of attempted murder in the 1980s, especially the claim that he and Trudeau were friends.

The dispute emerges after Atwal was interviewed by the The Canadian Press at his home in Surrey, B.C., following Trudeau's, at times, turbulent trip to India, which ended with his return to Ottawa on Sunday.

Atwal says he received an invitation directly from the Canadian high commissioner's office for the event in New Delhi last week.

British Columbia Liberal MP Randeep Sarai has said in a statement it was his choice alone to include Atwal on the guest list and he realized afterwards that he exercised poor judgement in doing so.

On Sunday, a senior government official said, on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, that the high commission invited some guests after receiving recommendations from others, including MPs such as Sarai.

Atwal said he has known Trudeau for years. Trudeau's spokesman, Cameron Ahmad, said the prime minister and Atwal are not friends.

"That is not true," Ahmad said in an interview.

Atwal was convicted of attempting to kill Indian cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu during a visit to Vancouver Island in 1986.

At the time, Atwal was a member of the International Sikh Youth Federation, a banned terrorist group in Canada and India.

He was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on Ujjal Dosanjh, a staunch opponent of the Sikh separatist movement, who later became B.C. premier and a federal Liberal cabinet minister.

Ahmad said the Prime Minister's Office has no comment on Indian policies regarding visas or blacklists.



More Canada News

Canada
132209
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
56309
Recent Trending
59546
Okanagan Oldies
135279
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
132931



57929
59768