No proof informant was tortured in Harkat case, federal lawyer says

posted on December 09, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: The Ottawa Citizen Date: December 9, 2004 " Mr. Mathieson suggested the assertions of journalists and 'biased' human rights lawyers do not amount to proof in a courtroom. 'If this were Starbucks,' he told Justice Eleanor Dawson, 'and you ordered a latte, it would be all froth and no caffeine. There is nothing there.' "

Mathieson's choice of the latte analogy speaks volumes about this man's true concerns. And about his humanity. Does he not appreciate the gravity of Mo's situation? At a time when evidence of torture by the U.S. military is mounting Mathieson's position that reports of Zubayda's torture cannot be believed is bizarre. The full Andrew Duffy report is here: [link]

Federal lawyer fears security case backlog

posted on December 09, 2004 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: N/A Date: December 8, 2004 Charter shouldn't be used to delay proceedings to deport terror suspects, court is told

A federal lawyer warned yesterday that national security cases will get bogged down by Charter challenges if Federal Court judges decide they have the power to address constitutional questions. Donald MacIntosh said Parliament devised an expeditious process to remove foreign nationals who threaten national security. The security certificate process set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act allows the government to detain and deport terrorist suspects based, in part, on evidence that remains secret. Allowing accused terrorists to use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to challenge decisions made by Federal Court judges -- they assess the reasonableness of security certificates -- would lead to long, complex cases, Mr. MacIntosh said. "Charter arguments tend to be complex and protracted affairs," he said, "and it would defeat Parliament's intent that such matters be dealt with in an expeditious fashion."

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Harkat's rights breached: Lawyer

posted on December 08, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Tobi Cohen
Source: The Ottawa Sun
URL: [link]
Date: December 8, 2004

The lawyer for accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat yesterday laid the groundwork for an appeal, arguing the entire security certificate hearing violates Harkat's constitutional rights. While the constitutionality question has been tried and defeated in similar cases, Harkat's lawyer, Paul Copeland, said that even though he "can't win at this level," he had to make the argument so he could take it to the next level.

With the case of Adil Charkaoui, a Montreal man also accused of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent, appealed as recently as Nov. 8, lawyers on both sides of the Harkat case expressed hope that Federal Court Justice Eleanor Dawson would hold off on her verdict until the Charkaoui case is decided.

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Harkat evidence slammed

posted on December 07, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Tobi Cohen Source: The Ottawa Sun URL: [link] Date: December 7, 2004 Defence, government clash over credibility of witnesses as terror suspect's hearing resumes

LAWYERS took shots at the credibility of each other's evidence yesterday as the security certificate hearing for suspected terrorist Mohamed Harkat reconvened after a hiatus of more than a month. Harkat's lawyer, Paul Copeland, slammed evidence identifying his client as the proprietor of a Pakistani guest house for mujahedeen fighters traveling to Chechnya in the mid-1990s because it was obtained from top al-Qaida lieutenant Abu Zubaydah. Copeland suggested Zubaydah made the statement under torture after his capture in March 2002 and that admitting it as evidence would violate international treaty.

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CSIS selects facts to match its theories, Harkat hearing told

posted on December 07, 2004 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

From the CBC: "Marchessault claimed CSIS intelligence reports often leave out information because it doesn't fit the agency's agenda"

Mohamed's lawyer today questioned a former CSIS agent, Jean Luc Marchessault. His answers were revealing. They lend credence to the theory that when CSIS lawyers cry "national security" the security of the nation is not at all what they are trying to protect. It is the exposure of their own incompetence and wrongdoing that is being safe-guarded. Full CBC news item here: [link]

CSIS pays some informants, court told

posted on December 07, 2004 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: December 7,2004 CSIS

Harkat's lawyer obtains information despite government's objections

The question of whether Canada's spy agency pays its sources for information led federal lawyers yesterday to suggest the answer to that question could imperil national security. A former Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agent, Jean-Luc Marchessault, was asked the question as the lawyer for accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat sought to understand what motivates CSIS informants. CSIS is accusing Mr. Harkat of being an al-Qaeda operative, in part on the strength of unnamed sources. Before Mr. Marchessault could answer, however, a federal lawyer interjected, reminding Justice Eleanor Dawson of her duty to protect national security. James Mathieson suggested she should consider closing the court to the public in order to hear Mr. Marchessault's answer. That answer, he argued, falls within the ambit of the Security of Information Act, which became law in late 2001. The law makes it an offence to disclose any information about how the government uses, collects, deciphers, assesses, handles or reports security intelligence information. "CSIS needs to have their methodologies and operational methods protected," Mr. Mathieson said. "To reveal some would be injurious to national security." Mr. Harkat's lawyer, Paul Copeland, said the suggestion "boggled" his mind. "If it threatens our national security to find out whether or not CSIS pays its informants, then we're in real trouble in this country," he said.

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Harkat's lawyer calls law unjust, launches constitutional challenge

posted on December 06, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: December 6, 2004 Security certificate process so secretive, Ottawa man cannot defend himself further, lawyer argues

The lawyer for Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat has launched a constitutional challenge to what he calls the "fundamentally unjust" process the government is using in an effort to brand his client a terrorist threat. Paul Copeland says the security certificate process is so secretive that it denies Mr. Harkat a basic right: to respond in a meaningful way to the terrorist allegations levelled against him. In doing so, he argues, the law that gives rise to the process -- the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act -- offends the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says an individual's liberty or security can only be deprived in keeping with the principles of fundamental justice.

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My life is in Canadians' hands, says accused terrorist

posted on December 06, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: December 05, 2004 'Algeria will assume I'm guilty if deported, Harkat says from jail

Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat says that being publicly branded a terrorist by Canada makes it impossible for him to safely return to Algeria. "Canada is the most trusted country in the world," he told the Citizen in an interview at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where he has been held for almost two years on the strength of a security certificate. The federal government is attempting to deport Mr. Harkat to Algeria based on the case built by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which alleges he is an al-Qaeda operative.

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Deportations put Canada at risk of attack

posted on November 23, 2004 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: Stewart Bell, for The National Post Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] (subscribers only) Date: November 22, 2004 Report warns retaliation possible for removal of al-Qaeda associates

TORONTO - A new Canadian intelligence report says terrorists might attack Canada in retaliation for the arrests of several al-Qaeda associates who are being deported for reasons of national security. In the report, titled Al-Qaeda: Potential Threats to North American Targets, the federal government's threat analysis unit said Canada's efforts to deport al-Qaeda suspects could trigger a violent response. "Canadian agencies have aggressively pursued removal proceedings against inadmissible classes of foreign nationals associated with al-Qaeda constituents, which may also provide extremists with an impetus to attack Canadian interests." The report by the Integrated National Security Assessment Centre (INSAC) was labelled Restricted Distribution because of its "sensitive nature," but a copy was disclosed to the National Post under the Access to Information Act.

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Parliament to review terror law

posted on November 20, 2004 | in Category Bill C-36 | PermaLink

Original author: Janice Tibbetts Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] (subscribers only) Date: November 15, 2004 Lawmakers to decide if 'draconian' law should be altered or even scrapped

Parliament will embark within weeks on an expansive review of Canada's anti-terrorism laws to examine whether extra powers given to police and government in the emotional months after the 2001 U.S. terror attacks should be softened or scrapped. The anti-terrorism bill, introduced when the World Trade Center rubble had barely stopped smouldering, was one of the fastest pieces of legislation ever passed by the government of former prime minister Jean Chretien, despite being a lengthy 171 pages long and containing 146 provisions.

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