Accused's lawyers slam CSIS

posted on October 27, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Seymour
Source: The Ottawa Sun online
URL: [link]
Date: October 26, 2004


Spies ill-informed, judge told

LAWYERS FOR an Ottawa man with alleged terror ties questioned the competence and credibility of Canada's national security intelligence agency yesterday. On the first day of Mohamed Harkat's security certificate hearing, lawyer Paul Copeland argued in front of Federal Judge Eleanor Dawson that members of CSIS are sometimes ill-informed and don't understand the communities they are collecting intelligence on.

"I think the competence of CSIS and the ability to do their job and to prepare reports that are actually fair is significantly limited," Copeland told reporters outside court.

"I can give you chapter and verse of cases I've been involved in where people who have testified haven't known what they are talking about," he said.

Copeland presented three government Security Intelligence Review Committee reports that were critical of the agency, including one pertaining to the case involving Maher Arar.

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Terror suspect's lawyer says CSIS work 'sometimes shoddy'

posted on October 26, 2004 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: N/A
Date: October 26, 2004

'Significant incompetence' has flawed security agency's record in pastThe lawyer for accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat attacked the competence and judgment of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service on the first day of what he called the "Kafkaesque" trial of his client.

"The quality of their work is sometimes unbelievably shoddy," Paul Copeland charged yesterday outside a Federal Court hearing. "From my viewing of CSIS over the 20 years it has existed, it shows, at times, some significant incompetence."

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Appeal court to decide if Harkat a security risk

posted on October 25, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Michelle Shephard
Source: The Toronto Star online
URL: [link] (subscribers only)
Date: October 25, 2004

Algerian will testify for the first time
Wife an opponent of secretive process


The change in Sophie Harkat is noticeable as soon as she begins an interview or stands before a microphone and dozens of protestors.

Poised and articulate, she's a confident version of the woman who was thrust shakily before television cameras when reporters arrived at her apartment doorstep almost two years earlier.

That was Dec. 10, 2002, the day her husband Mohamed was accused of being an Al Qaeda member and arrested on a national security certificate, a little-used provision of the immigration act used to deport a non-Canadian citizen who is considered a threat to the country's security.

Since then, Sophie has become a fierce opponent of the largely secretive process and her husband's most vocal advocate, marching in protests, circulating petitions and generating an e-mail program that has overwhelmed government employee inboxes.

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Harkat gears up for court

posted on October 25, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Megan Gillis
Source: The Ottawa Sun online
URL: [link]
Date: October 25, 2004

Evidence mystery to legal team

NEARLY TWO years after his arrest, accused al-Qaida sleeper agent Mohamed Harkat is finally getting his day in court. However one of his lawyers, Matt Webber, says Harkat and his legal team are going into the hearing blind since much of the so-called evidence against him hasn't been disclosed for "national security" reasons.

"He's upset at having to go into this proceeding blind -- those were his words," Webber said yesterday.

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Information on Harkat not 'credible'

posted on October 23, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen online
URL: [link]
Date: October 23, 2004

Al-Qaeda suspect was tortured to build case, lawyer to argue

The lawyer for Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat will attempt to establish in Federal Court that an al-Qaeda lieutenant was tortured into giving evidence against his client, who is accused of being part of the terrorist network.

Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaeda operational planner in U.S. custody since March 2002, has been a key source of information for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in building a case against Mr. Harkat.

Mr. Harkat, 35, faces deportation to his native Algeria if a Federal Court judge accepts that the security service's case against him is "reasonable."

His lawyer, Paul Copeland, wants CSIS to acknowledge that the information they received from Mr. Zubaydah came as the result of his being denied medical treatment for gunshot wounds.

Mr. Zubaydah was handed over to U.S. officials after being arrested in a violent raid on a guest house in Faisalabad, Pakistan during which he was shot in the groin and thigh. Both the Washington Post and New York Times have reported that Central Intelligence Agency interrogators selectively denied him painkillers as a means of gaining his co-operation.

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Harkat supporters hold rally

posted on October 22, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Sarah Gilmour
Source: The Ottawa Sun online
URL: [link]
Date: October 22, 2004


Five blindfolded men chained together in front of the words "dignity" and "rights" on the Human Rights Monument served as the backdrop for a rally in support of Mohamed Harkat last night. In what's expected to be their last rally before Harkat's security certificate hearing, members of the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee were also demonstrating against the certificates, which allow evidence to remain secret.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Accused terrorist Harkat fears trial secrecy

posted on October 22, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen online
URL: [link]
Date: October 22, 2004

Federal Court hearing into the Harkat case begins Monday
Lawyer says rulings make it difficult to prepare Harkat's defence


Accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat will testify for the first time in his own defence next week, but his lawyer says so many details of the allegations against him remain secret that it's impossible to prepare him for court.

Mr. Harkat, 35, is an Algerian refugee who worked as a gas station attendant and pizza delivery man before being arrested under a security certificate on Dec. 10, 2002. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) alleges that Mr. Harkat is a member of al-Qaeda and has repeatedly lied to them about his terrorist links.

Mr. Harkat denies any involvement with terrorists and intends to take the witness stand in Federal Court next week to proclaim his innocence.

"It's to give his evidence in response to what little we know about the case," Mr. Harkat's lawyer, Paul Copeland, said in an interview yesterday.

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Two ministers' approval required to label detainees threats to security

posted on October 14, 2004 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: Campbell Clark
Source: The Globe and Mail online
URL: [link]
Date: October 13, 2004

Ottawa reverses signoff procedure for deportation of immigrants

OTTAWA -- The federal government has undone a much-criticized change to the way it issues the secretive 'security certificates' that are used to detain and deport immigrants on national security grounds.

Two ministers, the public security minister and the immigration minister, will again be required to sign before such a certificate can be issued.

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UK: Promises on Torture Don't Work

posted on October 13, 2004 | in Category International | PermaLink

Source: Human Rights Watch Website
URL: [link]
Date: October 6, 2004

"Diplomatic Assurances" will not Protect Deportees

(London, October 6, 2004) The British government has said it is seeking "diplomatic assurances" that terrorism suspects deported to their home countries will not be tortured there. It argues that, on receipt of such assurances, the men-many of whom have been held without trial for more than two years-could safely be deported.

But experience shows that these assurances are an ineffective safeguard against torture, Human Rights Watch said today. ....The British position is moral abdication-there is a real risk that the men will be tortured if they are returned, whatever promises their home governments may offer.


Holly Cartner
Executive Director
Europe and Central Asia Division

Read more...

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Human Rights Watch Report claims Zubayda is being tortured

posted on October 12, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

In the report summarised below, there is further substantiation of the claim that Abu Zubayda is being tortured under US custody. Abu Zubayda is one of the people that CSIS apparently claims recognised [both Mohamed Harkat's picture and] Adil Charkaoui's picture. After earlier evidence that Zubayda was being tortured was presented in court by Charkaoui's lawyer and the witness Abdulrahman Khadr, the judge who is hearing Charkaoui's case decided to temporarily suspend all consideration of Zubayda's testimony. Perhaps this new report will convince him to make that a permanent decision. Unfortunately, Charkaoui is not able to cross-examine Abu Zoubaydah about any testimony he may have given against him.

More generally, the torture of these detainees, and open coverage of this torture by a mainstream group like Human Rights Watch, shows just how far the US has come in terms of the normalisation of torture, and the use of the "terrorist" label to justify new areas of violence and abuse by the state.

The report can be accessed at [link]

Read on...

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