Lawyer vows all-out fight against terror suspect's deportation order

posted on January 23, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Mohammed Adam
Source: The Montreal Gazette
URL: [link]
Date: January 21, 2011


[PHOTO: Mohamed Harkat talks to the media after leaving the Canadian Border Services Agency in Ottawa, January 21, 2011.]

OTTAWA — Saying his client is innocent, Ottawa lawyer Matt Webber vowed Friday to fight a deportation order against Mohamed Harkat all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, if necessary.

Harkat, 42, the former pizza deliveryman branded a terrorist by a Federal Court judge, was served with a formal notice of deportation Friday that could see him returned to his native Algeria, and potential torture. But Webber said his client is not going anywhere, adding that he has been given permission to file an appeal against the judgment of Justice Simon Noel, and will do so in "short order."

The presiding judge has to "certify" the issues being appealed, and Noel agreed to some of the issues, including the constitutionality of the security certificate system under which Harkat was declared a danger to Canada. The breadth of the appeal is to be revealed when it is filed in a "couple of weeks."

Webber said he hasn't been given any assurances by the federal government that Harkat won't be removed from Canada.

"I have not received any assurances from the Canadian Border Services Agency, but in a country that embraces due process and has a charter of rights, you don't remove people from the country to potential danger when they have an ongoing appeal," he said.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Harkat Served with Deportation Papers, but Will Continue the Fight to Stay in Canada

posted on January 23, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Gord McDougall
Source: CFRA Radio News
URL:
Date: January 21, 2011


Mohammed Harkat has been served with deportation papers.

While the man, who has been declared a threat to Canadian security, says he continues to worry, his lawyer is calling today's action "a formality".

Matthew Webber says he's confident his plans to appeal this deportation order will work.

"We've been down this road before," says Webber. "In a country that embraces due process and has a Charter of Rights, you don't remove people from the country to potential danger when they have an ongoing appeal. It's not gonna happen."

Webber says even if everything the government says about his client were true, his client should not be deported to a country where they maintain he would be tortured. Harkat denies alleged ties to terrorism, and says he would be tortured if deported to his native Algeria.

The deportation order has no timeline attached, and Webber expects the appeals process will be a lengthy one.

© 2011 CTVglobemedia All Rights Reserved.

CFRA.com is a CHUM Radio website, a division of CTVglobemedia.

Harkat fights deportation

posted on January 23, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by The Associated Press Source: The Washington Post URL: Date: January 21, 2011 Suspected al-Qaida collaborator fights deportation

TORONTO -- An Algerian immigrant who has been accused of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent continues is fighting deportation to his homeland, his lawyer said Friday. Mohamed Harkat, who has lived in Ontario since 1995, was arrested in December 2002 on suspicion of being a member of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. He has denied the allegations. Harkat, 42, has never been charged but spent 3 1/2 years in an Ontario jail under controversial anti-terrorism legislation. The measure allows authorities to issue a national security certificate under which non-citizens can be held indefinitely without being charged and be deported, with the government allowed to keep any evidence secret. Harkat has been under house arrest since his release on bail in 2006. Lawyer Matthew Webber said Harkat was formally served deportation papers on Friday. In December, a federal judge ruled him a security threat who maintained ties to al-Qaida. Harkat's lawyers want the government to stay the deportation order so he can continue his legal challenge to the anti-terrorist security measures being used to deport him. "While they may be serving the paperwork, we fully expect and are confident the Canadian government respects due process," said Webber. "He's not going anywhere or being deported until we finish appealing the matter." Harkat's lawyers are asking the Federal Court of Appeal to rule on whether the security certificate being used to deport him violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The certificate process, a seldom-used tool for removing non-citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage, was revamped in 2007 after the Supreme Court of Canada declared it unconstitutional. A key change was the addition of special advocates - lawyers who serve as watchdogs and test federal evidence against the person facing deportation. However, the special advocates do their work behind closed doors due to the sensitive nature of the classified information before the court in such cases. Harkat's lawyers argue that much of the evidence federal Judge Simon Noel consulted in weighing the validity of the certificate against Harkat remains secret and has never been tested under cross-examination. Harkat insists he is a refugee who fled strife-torn Algeria and worked with an aid agency in Pakistan before coming to Canada. He also claims he will be tortured if he is returned to Algeria. © 2011 The Associated Press.


CBC: Harkat deportation process underway

posted on January 23, 2011 | in Category Misc | PermaLink

Source: CBC News URL: [link] Date: January 21, 2011 The Canadian government has begun the process of formally deporting an Ottawa man declared a threat to Canadian security, but his lawyers don't expect him to be leaving the country any time soon. Mohamed Harkat's lawyer, Matthew Webber, said on Friday he had received a notice of intention to seek Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's opinion about whether to deport Harkat under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Under Section 115 of the act, the minister can decide not to allow an individual to remain in Canada with refugee status if the minister believes the individual constitutes a danger to the public or to the security of the country. The notice starts a process rolling, but is not a formal deportation order. "While they may be serving the paperwork, we fully expect and are confident the Canadian government respects due process," said lawyer Matthew Webber. "[Harkat's] not going anywhere or being deported until we finish appealing the matter." Co-counsel Norm Boxall said he hopes the government will stay the deportation order so Harkat's legal appeal can continue. Harkat was arrested eight years ago under a security certificate on suspicion of being an al-Qaeda sleeper agent. In December, a federal court ruled he was a security threat who maintained ties to Osama bin Laden's terror network. Harkat, 42, denies any involvement in terrorism. With files from The Canadian Press

Copyright © CBC 2011


Harkat braces for deportation papers

posted on January 21, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press
Source: Global News
URL: [link]
Date: January 21, 2011


[PHOTO: Mohamed Harkat, a former pizza delivery man who is alleged to be an al-Qaeda operative, leaves a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Oct. 24, 2007. Lawyers for Mohamed Harkat say their client will appeal a court decision that concluded he remains a security threat.]

OTTAWA - An Ottawa man declared a threat to Canadian security expects to be served with formal deportation papers Friday, but his lawyers don't expect him to be leaving the country any time soon.

Mohamed Harkat's legal team says the former gas station attendant and pizza delivery man will continue his marathon legal fight against the controversial national security certificate system being used to deport him to his native Algeria.

"While they may be serving the paperwork, we fully expect and are confident the Canadian government respects due process," lawyer Matthew Webber told The Canadian Press.

"He's not going anywhere or being deported until we finish appealing the matter."

Co-counsel Norm Boxall said he hopes the government will stay the deportation order so Harkat's legal appeal can continue.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Terrorist tag exit order for Harkat

posted on January 21, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Jamie Long, QMI Agency Source: The Toronto Sun URL: [link] Date: January 21, 2011 OTTAWA - Accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat will be handed his deportation papers Friday by Canada Border Services after fighting more than eight years to stay in Canada. The automatic deportation order is a result of federal court judge Simon Noel's decision that Harkat, 42, was operating a safehouse for Islamic extremists in Pakistan and having associations with a known jihadist and a top al-Qaida operative. His lawyers have launched an appeal, however, and continue to build their case. They argue the court based its decision on information from secret advocates [sic], which isn't available to the public, amongst other concerns. Some of the secret information was released by the court Jan. 14, but most of the important information was blacked out, according to Harkat's lawyer Matthew Webber. Harkat, a former Ottawa gas attendant and pizza delivery man, first entered Canada with an illegal Saudi passport. But the Algerian refugee has professed it was the only way he could enter the country safely. Harkat and his lawyers have reiterated a deportation to his native Algeria could mean torture, or perhaps death. Harkat's security certificate is the first to be upheld since the government revised the law two years ago after certificates against Adil Charkaoui and Hassan Almrei were quashed. Copyright © 2011 Toronto Sun All Rights Reserved.

NUPGE signs statement against security certificates

posted on January 21, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by News Release
Source: National Union of Public and General Employees Website
URL: [link]
Date: January 20, 2011


Undemocratic process violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a long list of international conventions.

Ottawa (21 Jan. 2011) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has signed a national statement demanding that the Harper government abolish security certificates and secret trials in Canada.

NUPGE president James Clancy signed the declaration on behalf of the union's 340,000 members across Canada, adding the union's voice to a growing list of individuals and organizations speaking out on the issue. The list includes MPs, authors and activists.

"We, the undersigned, have grave concerns regarding the continued use of sections 9, 76-87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allow for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents under the authority of a Security Certificate," the petition says.

It argues that the "new version" of the measure makes only cosmetic changes and the law continues to maintain a veil of secrecy over any information that may be used against the detained.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Une pétition pour abolir les certificats de sécurité

posted on January 21, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: Radio-Canada
URL: [link]
Date: 18 janvier 2011


Le comité Justice pour Mohamed Harkat lance une pétition en ligne pour réclamer l'abolition des certificats de sécurité au Canada.

La cour fédérale a confirmé en décembre la validité du certificat de sécurité dont il fait l'objet, en raison de ses liens avec des terroristes et des extrémistes islamistes reconnus, dont le réseau Al-Qaïda.

Les avocats du citoyen d'Ottawa ont décidé de contester le jugement du juge Simon Noël et évoquent maintenant la possibilité de porter l'affaire en Cour suprême.

La femme de Mohamed Harkat, Sophie, ajoute de son côté que le comité tente de mobiliser la population contre les certificats de sécurité. « On trouve que la loi est anticonstitutionnelle et qu'elle doit être abolie complètement. On trouve que des procédures secrètes n'ont pas leur place dans la démocratie au Canada », dit-elle.

Amnistie internationale, Maher Arar, Monia Mazigh et Alexandre Trudeau sont au nombre des 1000 personnes et organismes qui ont signé la pétition jusqu'à présent.

TOUS DROITS RÉSERVÉS © CBC/RADIO-CANADA 2010

Ottawa man challenges security-certificate system

posted on January 19, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press
Source: CTV News Toronto
URL: [link]
Date: January 14, 2011


OTTAWA — Canada's controversial national security-certificate system faces a new constitutional challenge from Mohamed Harkat -- one month after a court declared the Ottawa man a danger to the country.

Lawyers for Harkat, who is accused of links to terrorists, want the Federal Court of Appeal to determine whether the security certificate being used to deport him is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is one of several questions they're asking Judge Simon Noel, who heard the original case, to approve for examination.

Harkat, a former gas attendant and pizza delivery man, was arrested more than eight years ago under a security certificate on suspicion of being an al Qaeda sleeper agent. He denies any involvement in terrorism.

Harkat, 42, says he's merely a refugee who fled strife-torn Algeria and worked with an aid agency in Pakistan before coming to Canada. He argues he will be tortured if returned to his homeland.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Some Harkat secrets released but many still hidden: Lawyer

posted on January 18, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by James Long
Source: The Ottawa Sun
URL: [link]
Date: January 14, 2011


Top secret materials in the terrorism case of Mohamed Harkat were released Friday by the federal court but Harkat’s lawyer said key details remain hidden.

The Algerian-born Harkat, 42, is a former Ottawa pizza delivery man who was deemed a threat to national security last month by judge Simon Noel.

He could be deported depending on the strength his lawyers’ appeal to the ruling.

The documents do show that Noel struggled with the secret witnesses’ credibility.

But he ultimately decided testimonies related to the reasonableness of the security certificate was reliable since it was corroborated.

The legal team of Matthew Webber and Norm Boxall both pleaded with the court for the release of those testimonies from the at least two “human sources” during the long, drawn out case but it never happened.

Harkat’s legal team has launched an appeal of the decision, where they cite a series of problems, including how the court dealt with CSIS informants.

The amount of information kept from the public is shocking, said Webber, but at least it will help Harkat’s team in the appeal process.

“There is little here that we don’t already know. Weapons, Afghanistan...it is all just blackout,” he said.

“This weekend we will spend time discussing if this enhances questions for appeal.”

jamie.long AT sunmedia.ca

Copyright © 2011 Ottawa Sun All Rights Reserved.

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