Lifting the cover on Canada's spy files

posted on October 26, 2009 | in Category War on Terror | PermaLink

by Michelle Shephard Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] Date: October 26, 2009 Debate unfolds in courts over how to safeguard nation's security while still respecting civil rights

Only the judge and lawyers could see "John" behind a large screen in a Toronto courtroom. The Canadian spy entered through a separate entrance each day last week and a "Do Not Enter. Sealed by Judge's Order" sign hung on the door as he took his place on the hidden witness stand. While his identity may have been shielded, the agent's testimony in the extradition case of Abdullah Khadr gave an unprecedented glimpse into the covert world of international terrorism cases. John told the court that the Americans wanted to render Khadr to a U.S.-run foreign prison – perhaps Guantanamo Bay or one of the undisclosed "ghost sites" – but that the Canadians and Pakistanis refused to consent to his transfer. He testified about the $500,000 bounty the CIA paid the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency, and gave detailed answers about the delicate dance that went on between Ottawa, Islamabad and Washington. It seems everyone wanted information from Khadr but no one had the evidence to charge him – until Khadr confessed – which is the crux of the case. Was his abusive treatment (which the prosecution conceded took place after his arrest in Pakistan) enough to render anything he said about purchasing weapons for Al Qaeda inadmissible (even when he repeated these claims in Canada?)

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