Security certificate quashed by court (Almrei)

posted on January 07, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Cristin Schmitz Source: The Lawyers Weekly URL: [link] Date: December 25, 2009 Special advocates played key role in destroying government’s case

In a major test of the country’s new secrecy-shrouded special advocate regime, the Federal Court has quashed an “unreasonable” security certificate and condemned Canada’s spy agency for failing to voluntarily disclose secret evidence inconsistent with its allegations that an Arab man poses a risk to national security. On Dec. 14, Justice Richard Mosley quashed Hassan Almrei’s security certificate on the basis that there are presently no reasonable grounds to conclude that Almrei remains a danger to national security, even though he said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) did have reasonable grounds to consider the Syrian national dangerous when he was first detained on a security certificate in October 2001. (The law requires the court to assess whether there is a current risk to national security when deciding whether a certificate is reasonable). [PHOTO: Lorne Waldman and Sarah Boyd were Hassan Almrei’s public counsel.] While Almrei, who was admitted to Canada as a refugee in 1999, did lie to Canadian authorities, did associate with persons believed to be Sunni Muslim extremists and did engage in criminal activities, including using a false passport for himself, and was prepared to obtain false passports and travel documents for others, “the Hassan Almrei of 2001 is not the same person I heard and observed in the courtroom,” the judge explained.

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