Liberals apologize for mixing up living and dead Russian politicians
Opposition leader and former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov (left) is pictured on Feb. 28, 2015. Slain former deputy PM Boris Nemtsov (right) is pictured on Aug. 28, 2012. (AP / Pavel Golovkin / Sergey Ponomarev)
Published Wednesday, March 4, 2015 1:44PM EST
The federal Liberal Party has apologized for confusing a slain Russian politician with one who is very much alive.
The mix-up came earlier this week when the Liberals mistook former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov for ex-PM Mikhail Kasyanov in a statement regarding Nemtsov's death.
The statement quoted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau recalling a meeting with Nemtsov "just a few months ago" that actually happened with Kasyanov.
"Mr. Nemtsov and I met in Ottawa just a few months ago, where we discussed his unwavering and passionate desire for a free and prosperous Russia," Trudeau was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Liberals acknowledged the mistake Wednesday and said they pulled the statement from their website as soon as it was discovered.
A Liberal spokesperson says one of Trudeau's staffers was responsible for the mistake.
"A staff member confused a meeting that Mr. Trudeau had with former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov a few months ago," the spokesperson told CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife in a statement.
She says Trudeau asked the staffer to write up a statement to express his "shock and sadness" over Nemtsov's death.
"We regret the error and continue to offer our sincere sympathies to Mr. Nemtsov's loved ones and the people of Russia," she added.
Former deputy PM Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow near the Kremlin building on Feb. 27, just days before a planned protest march against President Putin. His killer has not been identified.
Former PM Mikhail Kasyanov attended Nemtsov's funeral on Tuesday.
Kasyanov met with Trudeau and Liberal MP Marc Garneau last November.