US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen confirmed that “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” had informed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the possible involvement of Indian agents in the murder of a Canadian citizen in June, CTV News reported.
Intelligence-sharing network Five Eyes includes the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
PM Trudeau said on Monday that Ottawa had credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver, prompting an angry reaction from New Delhi, which denies the allegation.
“I will say this was a matter of shared intelligence information. There was a lot of communication between Canada and the United States about this, and I think that’s as far as I’m comfortable going,” Cohen told CTV News in an interview to be aired on Sunday.
The Canadian government amassed intelligence from both human and electronic sources in a months-long investigation into the murder, CBC News reported separately on Thursday.
Cohen did not comment to CTV News on the type of intelligence that had informed the Canadian government.
The US made clear on Friday that it expected the Indian government to work with Canada on efforts to investigate the possible involvement of New Delhi agents in Nijjar’s murder.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations that Prime Minister Trudeau has raised,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in a press briefing.
“It would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation. We want to see accountability.”
The White House has spoken of its concerns over the allegations, but Blinken is the most senior US official to have commented thus far.
Traditional Canadian allies, including the United States, appeared to take a cautious approach to the matter earlier this week. Political analysts said this was partly because the United States and other major players see India as a counterweight to the growing influence of China.
“We have been consulting throughout very closely with our Canadian colleagues, not just consulting but coordinating with them on this issue,” Blinken said.
During a press conference, Trudeau was asked about the allegations, and he repeated his call for the Indian government to cooperate.
“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 Friday, Trudeau also said Canada shared its concerns with New Delhi some time ago.
“Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday with India. We did that many weeks ago,” Trudeau told reporters.