Mahjoub released from holding centre

posted on December 01, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: CBC News URL: [link] Date: November 30, 2009 Egyptian al-Qaeda suspect released from holding centre,

A judge has ruled that Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, accused of having links to an Egyptian terrorist organization, can once again be freed from custody under strict conditions, ending Mahjoub's months-long hunger strike. Federal Court Justice Edmond Blanchard ruled Monday that the Egyptian-born immigrant can leave the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre in Bath, Ont., as long as he wears an electronic bracelet and adheres to other conditions. Last month, Mahjoub said he had lost more than 50 pounds while on a hunger strike to protest conditions at the holding centre, which is on the grounds of the Millhaven maximum-security prison near Kingston, Ont.The government is trying to deport Mahjoub using a national security certificate, claiming he was a high-ranking member of an Egyptian Islamist terrorist organization.

The certificate allows federal authorities to detain suspects deemed to pose a threat to national security without having to lay charges or disclose evidence. Mahjoub has been accused of being linked to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Mahjoub was arrested under the security certificate in June 2000. He remained in custody until April 2007, when he was released under conditions that amounted to house arrest.

At the time, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ordered that Mahjoub not be left alone; wear an electronic monitoring device; post a $32,500 release bond; be forbidden from contacting certain people; and not possess any electronic equipment that could transmit information, such as a cellphone or internet-capable computer.

Late last year, the Federal Court ordered an end to the monitoring of phone conversations between Mahjoub and his lawyers.

However, Mahjoub decided to return to prison earlier this year after family supervising him said they could no longer deal with the onerous conditions imposed by the court.

© The Canadian Press, 2009