‘Special advocate’ ruling a partial victory for Ottawa in terror case

posted on April 25, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Kirk Makin
Source: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: April 25, 2012

A contentious terrorism provision creating the use of “special advocates” who are privy to secret government evidence is constitutional, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled today.

But the federal government’s victory triumph was tempered by a finding that the rights of suspected terrorist Mohamed Harkat were violated by the use of electronic recordings that have since been destroyed.

Any such evidence can only be used against Mr. Harkat if he was privy to the contents, the court said. It sent the case back to a trial judge for reconsideration based only on the portions that are properly admissible.

In another important victory for those targeted under the security certificate process, the three-judge panel found that Mr. Harkat’s trial judge was wrong to create a special “class privilege” for informers in these cases.

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