Federal Judge denies Harkat's lawyer permission to speak at conference on security certificates

posted on February 05, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Mohammed Adam
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: February 4, 2010

OTTAWA — Federal Judge Simon Noël Thursday denied Mohamed Harkat’s special advocate permission to speak on security certificates at a Toronto law conference this month, citing national security.

Paul Copeland, who represents Harkat in the closed hearings where sensitive information on national security is discussed, cannot speak publicly about the case without permission from Noël. In December, Copeland asked the court for permission to speak about the public phase of the Harkat hearing at the annual conference of the Law Union of Ontario, of which he is a founding member. The Toronto lawyer, who has been practising for more than 40 years, promised “not to discuss any aspect of the closed hearings or evidence that was regarded as subject to national security confidentiality.”

Government lawyers objected, saying Copeland could inadvertently revealed sensitive information that could harm national security. They pointed out that the speakers include Barbara Jackman who represents two people whose security certificate hearing is to begin soon. As well, Hassan Almrei, whose security certificate was quashed recently, had been invited to speak, even though he had not confirmed his participation. Copeland also acted as special advocate for Almrei.

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