Canada pleased with development in Kohail case

(No. 9 – January 9, 2010 – 5:15 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding positive developments in the consular case of Mohamed Kohail.

"Canada is very pleased to confirm that the death sentence against Mohamed Kohail has been revoked and that a retrial has been ordered," said Minister Cannon.

Mohamed Kohail, a Canadian citizen, and his brother Sultan were arrested in Saudi Arabia in January 2007 for their alleged involvement in the death of a Syrian student during a group fight after school. Mohamed is currently detained in a Saudi prison.

"The Government of Canada has repeatedly raised the cases of Sultan and Mohammed Kohail directly with senior Saudi ministers, and this case remains a priority for our government. We will continue to actively monitor this case and provide assistance and support to the Kohail brothers and their family. Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai, senior officials of Foreign Affairs Canada and I continue to be fully engaged in Mr. Kohail's case," the Minister explained.

"I met the brothers' father, Mr. Ali Kohail, in Riyadh last October and raised the issue with the Saudi human rights authorities, including the president of their human rights commission."

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