A Canadian has been found guilty of murder in Saudi Arabia and sentenced to beheading, the Canadian government confirmed on Monday.
Mohamed Kohail, a 23-year-old Montrealer who has been living temporarily in Saudi Arabia, was convicted of killing an 18-year-old student in a schoolyard brawl in the city of Jeddah in January 2007.
He has 80 days to appeal his conviction.
"We are deeply disappointed at the verdict handed down by Saudi authorities," said Bernard Nguyen, a Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman.
He said Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier and Secretary of State Helena Guergis had been briefed on the situation and are following it closely.
"We are in close contact with the family and continue to provide consular services," Nguyen said. "The family continues to explore other legal avenues, including an appeal of this verdict."
Family friends urged the Canadian government to intervene more forcefully, alleging that Kohail was the victim of an unfair investigation and trial.
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Should the Canadian government intervene?