CSIS tainted terror suspect's case

posted on January 12, 2005 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Sue Montgomery Source: The Montreal Gazette URL: N/A Date: January 12, 2005 lawyer: Charkaoui should be freed after evidence destroyed

MONTREAL - Since Canada's spy agency destroyed what could be key evidence in the case against Adil Charkaoui, the security certificate keeping the Montrealer detained without charge should be quashed, his lawyer argued yesterday. Dominique Larochelle said the destruction of notes and transcripts of interviews the Canadian Security Intelligence Service conducted with Mr. Charkaoui in 2002 is a violation that could prejudice her client.She said there is no way of knowing whether the information was obtained in a way that respected Mr. Charkaoui's rights. "Yesterday I asked if there were tapes available and was told that if there are tapes, they're not in the file," she told Federal Court.

Judge Simon Noel asked Crown prosecutor Daniel Roussy if CSIS has a written policy that says notes must be destroyed.

Mr. Roussy said he would look into it and if it wasn't classified information, he'd present a copy to court.

But he defended CSIS, saying it is an information-gathering agency, not a police force, and therefore, doesn't have to follow the same procedures.

Mr. Charkaoui has been held without charge since May 2003 on suspicion of having ties to al-Qaeda. The latest appearance in court is his fourth attempt to be freed on bail.

Mr. Charkaoui, a teacher with permanent-residence status who came here 10 years ago from Morocco and was working on his master's degree at the Universite de Montreal when he was arrested, has always denied he is a terrorist.

Mr. Roussy is to respond in writing by this afternoon to Ms. Larochelle's motion to quash the certificate.

(c) The Ottawa Citizen 2005