Statement by Minister Cannon on Bashir Makhtal Sentencing in Ethiopia

(No. 213 - August 3, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement following the sentencing of Bashir Makhtal in Ethiopia:

"The Government of Canada is extremely disappointed by the maximum jail sentence to which Bashir Makhtal has been sentenced by the court in Ethiopia.

"Canadian officials in Ethiopia were present at Bashir Makhtal’s court appearance today, during which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Bashir Makhtal’s lawyer has stated that his client will exercise his right under Ethiopian law to appeal the conviction and the sentence.

"The Government of Canada will continue to explore all options for supporting Bashir Makhtal.

"The Government of Canada will continue to follow the case closely and to seek regular consular access to Bashir Makhtal."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada