Le témoin du SCRS malmené

posted on January 20, 2010 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Source: Radio-Canada
URL: [link]
Date: 20 janvier 2010


Le contre-interrogatoire d'un agent du Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité (SCRS) s'est poursuivi, mercredi, pour une deuxième journée consécutive, en Cour fédérale à Ottawa. Le tribunal se penche sur la validité du certificat de sécurité émis contre Mohamed Harkat, un citoyen d'Ottawa soupçonné d'activités terroristes.

Le témoin du SCRS a été malmené par l'avocat de Mohamed Harkat, Norman Boxall. Celui-ci a questionné le témoin en demandant comment le SCRS pouvait conclure que Harkat était lié à des activités terroristes sur la base d'informations qui n'ont pas été corroborées.

Me Boxall a confronté à plusieurs reprises le témoin sur des éléments d'informations recueillies par le SCRC, qui ne reposent pas sur des faits. Il a cité en exemple une lettre de l'ambassade du Canada et de l'Algérie qui comportaient plusieurs erreurs de fait sur le passé de Mohamed Harkat.

Mohamed Harkat, d'origine algérienne, fait l'objet d'un certificat de sécurité depuis décembre 2002. Les autorités canadiennes le soupçonnent d'être un agent dormant du réseau terroriste Al-Qaïda, ce que Harkat a toujours nié.

CSIS slapped in Harkat case

posted on October 22, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Donna Casey
Source: Sun Media
URL: [link]
Date: October 21, 2009


A Federal Court judge slammed Canada's spy agency for filtering evidence" in failing to tell the court a secret informant failed portions of a lie-detector test in the case of alleged terrorist Mohamed Harkat.

In a decision made public Tuesday, Judge Simon Noel ordered the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to give him details of a confidential source CSIS is using in their allegations against Harkat, an Algeria-born alleged al-Qaida sleeper agent the Canadian government wants to deport.

The failure of CSIS and its witnesses to disclose the polygraph information has seriously damaged confidence in the current system," said Noel.

The government is trying to deport Harkat, a former pizza delivery man, using a national security certificate, a rarely used immigration provision.

Noel found evidence given about the polygraph issue from three CSIS witnesses -- whose names are confidential -- was at times inaccurate and incomplete" and concluded information filed by CSIS in the Harkat case had been filtered."

Filtering evidence, even with the best of intentions, is unacceptable," said Noel.

Norm Boxall, Harkat's lawyer, called Noel's rebuke of CSIS's handling of the evidence against Harkat extremely serious."

If we know they filter for court, how much filtering goes before they start their file up?" said Boxall of the spy agency's evidence-collecting.

In a statement, CSIS said the court found the shortcoming in disclosure was not an intentional effort to hide information.

Noel gave CSIS five days to turn over copies of the file on one of the confidential sources to the court and to two special advocates, court-appointed lawyers with clearance to see secret evidence and act as watchdogs for Harkat.

© 2009 , Sun MeMedia. All rights reserved.

Troubling lack of candour by CSIS

posted on July 19, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Lorne Waldman, opinion piece Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] Date: July 14, 2009 Spy agency has abused power by providing tainted testimony in secret hearings

CSIS, Canada's spy agency, has been making headlines recently. Unfortunately, the headlines have not been very flattering. The latest revelation came in the case of Hassan Almrei, the Syrian man accused of connections to the "Bin Laden network." His case is proceeding under the notorious security certificates, a process that allows for evidence to be given in secret. Justice Richard Mosley of the Federal Court disclosed last month that during the course of the secret hearings in the case, CSIS had provided inaccurate information to the court about the reliability of two informants. This came on the heels of an earlier ruling in the case of Mohamed Harkat by Justice Simon Noel, who came to a similar conclusion about the lack of candour of CSIS in that case. Almrei and Harkat are two of five men who have been accused under the security certificate regime of being connected to Al Qaeda. The possible consequences for all of the men are extremely serious. Almrei was held in detention for more than seven years while his case made its way through the courts. He was released earlier this year but is still under virtual house arrest. If he loses his case he faces deportation to Syria, where he fears he may be tortured. Each of the other men is in a similar situation. Harkat faces deportation to Algeria and he, too, is convinced he will be tortured there.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Mieux espionner les espions

posted on July 19, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Source: Radio-Canada URL: [link] Date: 15 juillet 2009 Csis L'Association canadienne des libertés civiles exhorte l'organisme responsable de surveiller les activités du Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité (SCRS) à examiner la conduite de certains espions. Certains d'entre eux n'auraient pas dit toute la vérité dans deux affaires de présumés terroristes, dont Mohamed Harkat d'Ottawa. Deux juges ont récemment blâmé des agents de renseignements qui auraient omis d'informer la cour que certains de leurs informateurs anonymes avaient échoué à des tests de polygraphes. L'Association canadienne des libertés civiles demande au Comité de surveillance des activités de renseignement de sécurité (CSARS) - qui est en quelque sorte le chien de garde du service secret canadien - de faire toute la lumière sur la conduite de ces agents, qui enquêtent sur de présumés terroristes arrêtés et détenus en vertu de certificats de sécurité. La directrice générale de l'organisme, Nathalie Des Rosiers, affirme que son association n'écarte pas la possibilité d'exiger une enquête publique sur les activités des agents. Elle demande que « les processus actuels soient utilisés pour évaluer comment l'agence des renseignements s'est comportée ». « Et si ce n'est pas possible de le faire, je pense qu'on va devoir demander davantage d'imputabilité, que ce soit une enquête publique qui certainement pourrait prendre différentes formes », ajoute Mme Des Rosiers. De son côté, la direction SCRS a ordonné une enquête interne à la suite de ces allégations. Voir Aussi: AUDIO-VIDEO: L'assoc. canadienne des libertés civiles demande au comité de surveillance de suivre de plus près certains agents du SCRS.

Spy agency bungled second terror case

posted on June 30, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Michelle Shephard and Tonda Maccharles
Source: The Toronto Star
URL: [link]
Date: June 29, 2009


Canada's spy agency mishandled evidence in a second high-profile terrorism case, the Star has learned, prompting calls for an independent investigation.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service admitted it failed to disclose evidence that a confidential informant was "deceptive" in answering questions and that a second source was not subjected to a lie-detector test as the agency had claimed.

The disclosures were made in two letters written by Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley to lawyers for Syrian refugee Hassan Almrei. They come just weeks after another Federal Court judge slammed CSIS for omitting evidence.

Almrei, who was detained in October 2001, was the first person arrested in Canada on a national security certificate. He was accused of belonging to a forgery ring that provided documents to terrorists.

The federal government alleges that Almrei and four other men are threats to national security, and is using extraordinary immigration warrants that permit secret evidence to be used against them in deportation proceedings.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Canada's spy agency gets new director

posted on June 05, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Source: CBC News
URL: [link]
Date: June 3, 2009


Richard Fadden, the current deputy minister of citizenship and immigration, will take over the top spot at Canada's spy agency.

Fadden will replace Jim Judd, who is retiring as director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The appointment comes into effect on June 27.

"Richard Fadden brings to this position a unique combination of legal expertise and extensive experience in the security and intelligence field," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Fadden has been a public servant since 1977, working for the Foreign Affairs Department, the auditor general and the Privy Council.

Judd announced in April he was stepping down after 4½ years in the post.

Copyright © CBC 2009

CSIS intentions questioned

posted on May 28, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Canadian Press
Source: The Edmonton Sun
URL: [link]
Date: May 28, 2008


OTTAWA -- A Federal Court judge is raising questions about whether Canada's spy agency has been withholding information and lying to the court in its effort to deport terrorist suspect Mohamed Harkat.

In a toughly worded judgment released yesterday, Justice Simon Noel said the "troubling situation" casts doubt on the good faith of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The comments were sparked by a letter from government lawyers, delivered to Noel earlier this week along with a top-secret file that deals with the reliability of an informant CSIS used to help build its case against Harkat.

The letter acknowledged that the material should have been turned over earlier and that "failure to do so is a serious matter."

Copyright © 2009 Edmonton Sun All Rights Reserved.

CSIS official does about-face on torture testimony

posted on April 04, 2009 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press
Source: CTV News
URL: [link]
Date: April 2, 2009


OTTAWA -- A senior CSIS official has backpedalled on his admission that the spy agency uses information extracted through torture.

In a letter to the Commons public safety committee Thursday, Geoffrey O'Brian of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said his comments to MPs this week "may have provoked some confusion."

"I wish to clarify for the committee that CSIS certainly does not condone torture and that it is the policy of CSIS to not knowingly rely upon information that may have been obtained through torture," O'Brian wrote.

He is a lawyer who provides advice on legislative issues at the spy service, where he has worked since its inception almost 25 years ago.

The letter contrasted sharply with his testimony at a committee hearing on Tuesday

O'Brian told MPs then that the agency would use information gathered through torture in the rare instance that it could prevent a catastrophic terrorist plot like the 1985 Air India bombing or the 9-11 attacks.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Lawyers ask if CSIS is listening in

posted on December 21, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Isabel Teotonio
Source: The Toronto Star
URL: [link]
Date: December 20, 2008

Defence counsel in the high-profile terror case of the Toronto 18 are concerned conversations with their clients are being monitored after it was revealed this week that Canada's spy agency had been intercepting the calls between another terror suspect and his lawyers.

"How can we trust that the system is working appropriately?" asked Dennis Edney, who represents the ringleader of an alleged homegrown terror cell that was arrested in the summer of 2006.

"Every lawyer in this country who's involved in issues of national security has no way of knowing whether (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) is monitoring their calls," he said yesterday.

Edney's comments came after he wrote to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada asking it to determine if CSIS has monitored conversations between the 10 terror suspects and their lawyers.

[ Read the rest ... ]

CSIS taping conversations between lawyers, terrorism suspects, judge says

posted on December 19, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Colin Freeze Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: December 18, 2008 CSIS taping conversations between lawyers, terrorism suspects, judge says Update: Spies to stop wiretapping lawyers

Canada's spy agency is taping conversations between men held as terrorism suspects and their defence lawyers, according to a Federal Court Judge, who suggests state agents cease such wiretaps and delete the tapes. Madame Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson's written summary of secret evidence released Thursday left defence lawyers saying they were "apoplectic" with rage that hundreds of their conversations had been snooped on, and that one of the most basic and fundamental legal protections, solicitor-client privilege, is being flouted by the government. Reviewing the case of an Egyptian living under house arrest because he once ran a farming operation for Osama bin Laden, Judge Layden-Stevenson released a summary of secret testimony given by a Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent. The testimony revealed just how CSIS is helping another federal agency keep tabs on the security-certificate detainee, Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub. "The CSIS analyst listens to all intercepted communications, including solicitor-client communications, if any, to the extent of being satisfied that the communication does not involve a potential breach of the terms of release of a threat to national-security," the judge's summary reads.

[ Read the rest ... ]

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