High court to deliver latest twists in marathon Harkat terrorism case

posted on November 22, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Jim Bronskill (CP)
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: November 21, 2012


OTTAWA - The long-running case of former pizza delivery man Mohamed Harkat — an Algerian refugee accused of terrorist links — will take another twist or two Thursday when the Supreme Court decides whether to hear appeals from each side.

Harkat, 44, was arrested almost 10 years ago in Ottawa on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent. He denies any involvement in terrorism.

The federal government wants to deport Harkat under a national security certificate, a rarely used tool for removing non-citizens suspected of being terrorists or spies. He is one of three Muslim men whose certificate cases continue to grind through the courts.

Harkat lives at home with wife Sophie, but wears an electronic tracking bracelet on his ankle, must check in with authorities regularly and cannot leave town without permission.

"It's been a tremendous ordeal," said Norm Boxall, a lawyer for Harkat. "It's been a very long time."

No matter how the Supreme Court of Canada rules, Harkat's legal saga is far from over.

In April, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of the security certificate system being used to deport him.

But the same appeal court ruled that summaries of some mid-1990s conversations be excluded from evidence against Harkat because the Canadian Security Intelligence Service destroyed the original recordings. It ordered the Federal Court to take another look at the certificate in this new light.

The ruling left both sides unhappy and each has asked for a hearing in the Supreme Court — an uncommon turn of events.

"It's certainly unusual, to say the least, that both parties would be seeking leave to appeal," Boxall said. "In this particular case, the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal clearly didn't satisfy either side."

The person named in a security certificate receives only a CSIS summary of the case against them, stripped of supporting information, which critics say makes the process patently unfair.

If the Supreme Court agrees to examine the security certificate system, the Conservative government will be backed into a familiar corner. The high court struck down the certificate regime in 2007, forcing the government to revamp the process to make it more fair to detainees.

The government reissued certificates against Harkat and others in early 2008 after a retooling that included the addition of special advocates — lawyers who serve as watchdogs and test federal evidence against the person facing deportation.

In the Federal Court of Appeal, Boxall unsuccessfully argued the presence of advocates did not ensure the constitutionality of the process. He said they were permitted to work only with the information presented to them and could not initiate their own investigations — even when open source material was at odds with the federal case.

Should the Supreme Court decide to hear the federal appeal, it would set the stage for renewed arguments over the written summaries of recorded conversations and the significance of destruction of the original tapes.

It is unclear how things with unfold, in a procedural sense, once the Supreme Court declares which — if any — appeal it will hear.

"I think right now what it is, is a lot of unknowns," Boxall said.

© 2010 - 2012 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.



Ottawa expected UN pressure on anti-torture policy

posted on November 13, 2012 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: The Canadian Press via CBC News
URL: [link]
Date: November 13, 2012

Newly released memos show Canada fully expected the intense grilling it got from a United Nations committee earlier this year about its international obligations to shun torture and other cruel treatment.

Officials quietly advised Justice Minister Rob Nicholson the committee would "likely press Canada" on issues ranging from prison overcrowding to redress for people subjected to torture abroad.

The federal government was also prepared to defend its refusal to arrest former U.S. leaders George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for alleged war crimes.

In late May, a Canadian delegation presented Canada's latest report on compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture.

Advisers also provided the minister with copies of the numerous talking points intended to help the delegation defend Canada's interests.

The committee later issued a report criticizing several aspects of Canada's legal regime, including planned measures affecting refugee claimants and the continuing use of national security certificates to deport non-citizens.

© The Canadian Press, 2012



Mohamed Harkat gets shot to clear himself at Supreme Court

posted on November 12, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Doug Hempstead, with files from Brigitte Pellerin
Source: The Ottawa Sun
URL: [link]
Date: November 22, 2012


Elated that her husband will get a chance to argue his case before the Supreme Court, Sophie Harkat celebrated by baking cookies for her lawyers.

The Supreme Court announced Thursday morning the successful appeal of Mohamed Harkat, an Algerian citizen suspected of having ties to terrorism who is challenging Canada’s system of security certificates.

The couple got the news when Sophie saw it posted to the Supreme Court website.

“I heard her screaming upstairs,” said Harkat. “But sometimes, she is screaming both sides — good news or bad.”

Harkat, 44, arrived in Canada in 1995 and was granted refugee status in 1998.

He was arrested outside his Ottawa home on Dec. 10, 2002 — accused of operating a safe house for Islamic extremists in Pakistan while he was still 19 and having associations with terrorist groups.

He was jailed for three and a half years — including one year in solitary confinement.

He was released on bail June 21, 2006. The government issued a security certificate against him and served with a notice of deportation in 2011.

Harkat claims his phone conversations with lawyers were tapped “for years” by CSIS and CBSA.

In April this year the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the constitutional validity of security certificates, but it also ruled that some recorded phone conversations that were used as evidence be thrown out because CSIS destroyed the original recordings.

Harkat and his wife claim there is actually no original evidence against him.

Both parties appealed to the Supreme Court — something which is extremely rare.

And, both sides are pleased with the new developments.

“Security certificates are necessary to protect Canadians from dangerous foreign nationals, including terrorists,” according to a statement by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

“It is clear that Canada is not immune from the threat of homegrown or international radical-led terrorism.”

The Harkats have confidence in the system.

“This means we have the green light to go to the highest court,” said Harkat. “That’s huge news for us. You know — high court, high hope.”

Sophie describes the news a dream realized.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to go through two certificates and the federal court of appeal, but for me — the ultimate justice comes in the hands of the highest court,” she said.

It’s not known when Harkat and lawyer Norm Boxall will appear before the Supreme Court.

doug.hempstead@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @DougHempstead

Harkat and the courts:

- Dec. 10, 2002 — Harkat is arrested outside his Ottawa apartment on a security certificate issued on the recommendation of CSIS.
- Oct. 25, 2004 — A hearing to determine the validity of the security certificate begins.
- Dec. 10. 2004 — The Federal Court of Appeal upholds a 2003 decision that declared the use of security certificates constitutional.
- March 22, 2005 — Federal Court Justice Eleanor Dawson upholds Harkat’s security certificate.
- Sept. 6, 2005 — Federal Court of Appeal upholds security certificate.
- Jan. 19, 2006 — Top court agrees to hear Harkat’s appeal.
- Feb. 23, 2007 — The Supreme Court rules security certificates unconstitutional, gives the government a year to rewrite the law.
- Oct. 20, 2009 — Federal Court Justice Simon Noel chastises CSIS for “filtering evidence” in failing to tell the court an informant failed a 2002 lie detector test.
- Feb. 1, 2010 — Harkat takes the stand in his own defence.
- June 2, 2010 — Federal Court proceedings wrap up.
- December 2010 — Justice Noel gives Harkat deportation orders to be sent back to Algeria. Harkat appeals the decision, with his lawyers arguing the secret trial process violated his Charter rights.
- Jan. 21, 2010 — Harkat appeals to the Federal Court of Appeal to strike down the security certificate program because it’s unconstitutional.
- April 15, 2012 -- The court of appeal upholds his security certificate for a second time, but disallows key phone record evidence against Harkat, sending him back to a new federal trial. Both parties appealed to the Supreme Court.
- Nov. 22, 2012 -- The Supreme Court announces it will hear Harkat’s appeal.

Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved. The Ottawa Sun is a member of Canoe Sun Media Urban Newspapers.



Mohamed Harkat case likely to head to Supreme Court, stretch into second decade

posted on November 10, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: June 26, 2012


OTTAWA — Mohamed Harkat’s legal odyssey will move into its second decade this year as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear the latest appeals in his terrorism case.

Both sides have now appealed elements of an April decision that struck down a judge’s finding that Harkat was a member of the al-Qaeda network.

The government has been trying to deport the Algerian-born Harkat using the country’s security certificate law since December 2002 when he was arrested outside his Ottawa apartment building.

Harkat, 43, has always maintained that he has no connection to al-Qaeda and will be tortured or killed if returned to Algeria.

For 10 years, the case has bounced between the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Judges have twice deemed Harkat a terrorist and ordered him deported only to have their findings overturned by higher courts that found the legal process wanting.

In April, the Federal Court of Appeal said Harkat’s right to fair trial had been compromised by the destruction of 13 wiretap recordings made by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) between 1996 and 1998.

Written summaries of those conversations offered critical evidence against Harkat, but without the full, original recordings, defence lawyers said they had no way to challenge their context or accuracy.

The appeal court agreed and ordered Judge Simon Noël to reconsider the case without the benefit of conversations in which Harkat did not take part.

Noël had declared Harkat an active and dangerous member of al-Qaeda in December 2010.

The same appeal court decision upheld the constitutionality of the government’s revised security certificate regime.

That split-decision left neither government lawyers nor Harkat’s legal team satisfied and both sides have now filed appeals with the Supreme Court.

Federal lawyers say the appeal court was wrong to overrule Noël’s assessment of the modest impact of the destroyed recordings on the trial’s fairness.

Harkat’s lawyers, meanwhile, want the Supreme Court to throw out all of the summarized recordings. They’re also asking the court to again declare the security certificate regime unconstitutional.

If the country’s top judges agree to hear one or both of the appeals, as seems likely, the case will mark its 10th anniversary before Canada’s highest court.

In an interview Monday, Harkat said the deportation case is a storm that never ends.

“We are waiting for this storm to pass by — but this one keeps rotating over our heads and never goes anywhere,” he said. “I live day by day.”

Harkat, who worked as a gas station attendant and pizza delivery man before his arrest, has been unable to hold a job during the past decade, most of which he has spent either in jail or under house arrest. He must wear a GPS tracking bracelet whenever he leaves his house.

Harkat’s lawyer, Norm Boxall, said his client has lived too long with the label of terrorist. “It’s an excessive amount of time. It’s excessive and it’s unfair.”

The Harkat case could become the first to test whether the government’s new security certificate law can withstand a Charter challenge.

The previous version of the law, used to deport foreign-born terror suspects, was struck down by the high court in February 2007, then rewritten by Parliament.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen



A Letter to Minister Toews on the Use of Torture-tainted information

posted on September 12, 2012 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

by ICLMG and 10 civil society organizations
Source: International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
URL: [link]
Date: September 6, 2012

The Honourable Vic Toews, PC QC MP
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0A6

Re: Use of Torture-tainted information

6 September 2012


Dear Minister Toews:

We are writing to you today to express our opposition to the government's directives that would allow for the use of information that was likely extracted through torture. These directives are currently in the public spotlight following disclosure through an Access to Information request.

It is important to note that Canada is a signatory to numerous international agreements including the Convention Against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

All of these conventions emphasize the illegality of the use of torture and, as such, it is imperative that the Canadian government upholds its international obligations by unequivocally denying the right of any state to torture citizens or non-citizens.

To accept/ share information from states where torture is known to occur would be to renege on these international commitments. Furthermore, it would send the wrong signal, implying that there is a "market" for such information.

As such we urge the Canadian government to direct its various national security agencies including the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, and CSIS to discard information likely obtained through the violation of human rights and to refrain from sharing such information.

In 2006, Justice Dennis O'Connor, in his Report of the Events Relating to Maher Arar, recommended policies that now appear to have been ignored. Specifically, recommendation 14 which stated, "Policies should include specific directions aimed at eliminating any possible Canadian complicity in torture, avoiding the risk of other human rights abuses and ensuring accountability."

We, the undersigned, strongly believe that the Canadian government and its institutions are responsible for the safety and well-being of Canadians. However this duty must align itself with international agreements, and with Canada's own Charter obligations.

The Government of Canada must condemn the use of torture, without caveats.

Sincerely,

Ihsaan Gardee
Executive Director
CAIR-CAN

Roch Tassé
National Coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Gail Davidson
Executive Director
Lawyer's Rights Watch Canada

Brent Patterson
Political Director
The Council of Canadians

Dave Coles
President
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

James L. Turk
Executive Director
Canadian Association of University Teachers

Vincent Gogolek
Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Carmen Cheung
Senior Counsel
BC Civil Liberties Association

Nicole Filion
Directrice générale
Ligue des droits et libertés

Warren Allmand, P.C., O.C.,Q.C.

Carol Dixon
Presiding Clerk
Canadian Yearly Meeting-Religious Society of Friends(Quakers)

Rita Morbia
Executive Director
Inter Pares



CBC: Security certificates process has evolved, ex-CSIS official says

posted on September 07, 2012 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: CBC News
URL: [link]
Date: September 7, 2012

The secretive, highly contentious security certificate process strikes a balance between upholding fundamental human rights and protecting society from security threats, says a former top official with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

In an exclusive interview with host Evan Solomon on CBC News Network's Power and Politics, Ray Boisvert, former assistant director of intelligence for CSIS, said intense scrutiny and various legal challenges have fine-tuned the rarely used process.

First established in 1978, security certificates have been used in fewer than 30 cases since 1991, according to Boisvert, who is now president of I-Sec Integrated Strategies. The threat environment has "transformed tremendously" and requires a delicate balance between enabling the state to protect its citizens as a fundamental obligation – and upholding individual freedoms protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he added.

Boisvert said intelligence gathered by spy agencies is not meant to be used in court like evidence gathered by law enforcement agencies, and is usually obtained and shared through a network of international partners.

In the case of security certificates, the information is used in a quasi-judicial setting, creating a "clash" because it can be challenged by lawyers and judges, Boisvert said.

'Significant amount of accountability'

But courts have been "very, very successful" in pulling cases apart — questioning sources and the validity of collection methods. Special advocates and the requirement for ministerial sign-off have added to the accountability despite a lack of transparency and non-disclosure to the accused, he said.

"I think that in itself has proved that despite some of the rhetoric, there is a significant amount of accountability, and those individuals involved in the collection of that information and the presentation of those cases to Federal Court are doing so in a very professional and a very meticulous manner," Boisvert said on Power & Politics.

Boisvert, who has been involved in many security certificate cases during his time at CSIS, could not speak on any specific one – including that of Mohamed Mahjoub.

Today, former Public Safety minister Stockwell Day testified via video link before a federal court in Toronto about his role in issuing that security certificate. He said there were warnings some of the information used to detain Mahjoub may have come from the torture of the Egyptian-born man.

Mahjoub, 51, has been imprisoned and under house arrest since 2000 without facing any charges. Day said material pointed to Majhoub's involvement in 'Vanguard of Conquest,' a group tied to late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Julie Carmichael, spokeswoman for current Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, could not comment on the specific case, but defended the security certificate process.

"The security certificates process allows the government to take action against individuals believed to be inadmissible to Canada on very serious grounds, including terrorism," she told Power and Politics. "Our objective is to ensure Canadians are safe from terrorist threats."

According to Public Safety Canada's website, the security certificate process falls within the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and is not a criminal proceeding, but an immigration proceeding. The objective is to remove non-Canadians "who have no legal right to be here and who pose a serious threat to Canada and Canadians."

The site says the government issues a certificate only in "exceptional circumstances" where the information to determine the case cannot be disclosed without endangering the safety of any person or national security. Individuals subject to a certificate have been deemed inadmissible on grounds of national security, violating human or international rights, or involvement in organized or serious crimes, according to the department.

Copyright © CBC 2012



Canada’s spy service fights court ruling it says puts informants in danger

posted on July 09, 2012 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: July 2, 2012




Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal that struck down the right of CSIS to always shield the names of its sources.

Canada’s spy agency says its network of informants has been “imperilled” by a Federal Court of Appeal decision that struck down its right to always shield the names of its sources.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.

“As with police informers, the identity of informers who provide information to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) must be protected or their lives and the lives of their families could be at risk,” federal lawyer David Tyndale argues in documents filed in support of the government’s leave to appeal.

“Without a guarantee of confidentiality, individuals would be reluctant to come forward and assist CSIS, and sources would dry up.”

The appeal court ruling, he says, damages Canada’s national security, impairs its ability to deport foreign-born terror suspects, and creates two classes of informants: those who work for the police and those who work for CSIS.

“These are issues of the utmost public importance,” Tyndale contends.

In April, the Federal Court of Appeal struck down a blanket legal protection — it’s known as a “class privilege” — that had been extended to CSIS informants.

Confidential police sources already enjoy a near-absolute right to have their names kept out of court proceedings. (The lone exception involves a crime in which a defendant’s innocence can only be established by unmasking the informant.)

The appeal court, however, said it was unnecessary for CSIS informants to be offered the same automatic protection since other legal safeguards are available to them.

The issue first arose in 2008 during Mohamed Harkat’s security certificate hearing.

Canada has been trying to deport the Algerian-born Harkat since December 2002, when he was arrested and accused of being a member of the al-Qaeda network.

During a closed hearing to decide if Harkat posed a threat to national security, his lawyers asked to cross-examine several CSIS informants.

Those lawyers — security-cleared special advocates — act for Harkat during closed court sessions. They have a limited ability to communicate with Harkat or his public defence team.

Judge Simon Noël, however, rejected their request, ruling that the spy agency informants should be protected in the same way as confidential police sources.

The appeal court disagreed. A panel of judges said the security certificate law sufficiently protected CSIS informants since it allowed the government to shield their identities by demonstrating that their safety would be endangered by any kind of exposure.

The ruling leaves open the possibility that CSIS informants will be cross-examined in-camera by Harkat’s special advocates.

Government lawyers want the Supreme Court to eliminate that possibility in the Harkat case — and all others.

“Although measures may be put in place to prevent the public disclosure of the source,” Tyndale says, “bringing a human source to court to testify — even in a secured, closed setting before security-cleared lawyers and other court personnel sworn to secrecy — will have significant negative repercussions.”

Such an event, Tyndale predicts, would make it difficult for the agency to guarantee confidentiality to other potential sources, damaging Canada’s national security.

Meanwhile, Harkat’s lawyers contend that making CSIS sources available for cross-examination is essential for a fair trial.

Otherwise, they say, CSIS will be able to rely on evidence presented against Harkat in secret while offering his defence no opportunity to test the credibility or reliability of the source of that information.

Two years ago, the federal Air India Inquiry wrestled with the same issue. The commission recommended that the courts weigh on a case-by-case basis whether the identify of CSIS informants should be shielded by the law.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

© 2010 - 2012 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.



CSIS breaches policy, makes errors, watchdog says

posted on May 19, 2012 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press
Source: CTV News
URL: [link]
Date: May. 18, 2012



OTTAWA — Canada's spy service continues to flout policy and make a serious number of reporting errors, says a federal watchdog whose office was recently abolished.

In her final report as inspector general of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Eva Plunkett says CSIS's reputation and effectiveness may suffer if the problems aren't addressed.

The "re-occurring and high rate of non-compliance with policy and the ever-increasing rate of errors in reporting identified in what is a relatively small review sample of CSIS activities is a concern to me and should be a serious concern of the Service," Plunkett says in the annual report card.

"Errors in intelligence reporting, as I have repeatedly stated over my tenure, are a serious matter and have the potential for far-reaching consequences."

The Canadian Press obtained a declassified version of Plunkett's top secret November 2011 evaluation Friday under the Access to Information Act.

Plunkett retired last December and the Conservative government recently scrapped her office, saying it would save money and eliminate duplication.

As inspector general, she served as the public safety minister's eyes and ears on the intelligence service for eight years. She had a staff of eight and a budget of about $1 million.

In her report, Plunkett says her office performs the unique role of identifying issues and recommending corrective actions before they become public controversies that undermine trust.

"This is not work done elsewhere in government on your behalf," says the report.

"At this time, it is the only independent, impartial resource available to the minister to support his responsibility and accountability for an organization which works in secret but has been given highly intrusive powers."
The report also says the inspector general's office worked to eliminate "any possible overlap" with the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the other federally appointed body that keeps an eye on CSIS.

Overall, Plunkett concluded CSIS had not strayed outside the law, contravened ministerial direction or exercised its powers "unreasonably or unnecessarily" in 2010-11.

However, she was advised of at least 19 instances of CSIS's failure to comply with its own policies. The precise number was stripped out of the document for security reasons.

She also found "numerous inaccuracies" in reporting by the spy service.

"These numbers do concern me and should concern the service," Plunkett says.

Once errors are introduced into CSIS databanks, they can lead to decisions based on inaccurate information by both the spy agency and its partners.

"When errors of this nature do come to light, they have a highly detrimental effect on the service's credibility with Canadians, the judicial system and with other intelligence agencies," says the report.

"Intelligence is a very important but also a very powerful weapon. Safeguards against its abuse are essential."

The greatest strengths of an intelligence organization must be its accuracy in reporting and information management -- the ability "to know what they know," Plunkett adds.

"Based on my eight years of experience as inspector general, I cannot state with confidence that this is the current situation for CSIS," the report says.

"I fear that if issues of non-compliance with policy and the rate of errors are not addressed and continue to grow, the reputation and effectiveness of the service may suffer."

Plunkett's office, which is in the process of shutting down, did not respond to an interview request.

CSIS did not make its director, Dick Fadden, available for questions Friday.

CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti said the spy service "has appropriately addressed the concerns raised in the report," but she provided no details.

Julie Carmichael, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said he was unavailable.

In an email, Carmichael reiterated the government's position that -- despite Plunkett's comments on the value of her office -- having both the inspector general and the Security Intelligence Review Committee meant "duplicative oversight" of CSIS.

The inspector general's duties will be merged into the review committee, preserving "all of the oversight and accountability over CSIS" while reducing administrative costs, she said. The minister's department will play "a greater role" in providing advice on intelligence matters, she added.

However, Carmichael did not explain how the review committee would absorb the inspector general's functions or how it would fulfil these duties. The review committee's latest planning report, recently tabled in Parliament, indicates that its staff and budget will not increase.

© 2012 CTV All rights reserved.



New hearing for Algerian terror suspect in Canada

posted on April 27, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: Agence France Presse
URL: [link]
Date: April 25, 2012


OTTAWA — A Canadian appeals court on Wednesday ordered a new hearing for a former Ottawa pizza delivery man declared to be a security threat with links to Al-Qaeda, effectively delaying his deportation to Algeria.

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that telephone intercepts be excluded from evidence in the case of Mohamed Harkat, a 44-year-old Algerian first detained in 2002 on suspicion of links to the global terror network.

Harkat spent nearly four years in jail under a rarely-used national security measure, and has since 2006 been subject to strict bail conditions.

A lower court ruled in 2010 that Harkat was likely an Al-Qaeda sleeper agent who remained a national security threat, while Canada's immigration minister vowed to deport him.

But in Wednesday's ruling, the appeals court agreed with the argument made by defense lawyers that the Canadian spy agency's routine destruction of the original tapes amounted to a breach of process.

The case now goes back to the Federal Court to reconsider.

Defense lawyer Matthew Webber said the exclusion of transcripts of the intercepts would have a "profound effect" on the case.

"Of the public material that we saw, it's the pivotal evidence," echoed fellow legal counsel Norman Boxall at a press conference, describing the transcripts as "tattered remnants" filled with inaccuracies.

Harkat has denied terror links, and claimed he fled Algeria over a crackdown on a political party to which he belonged, the now-defunct and banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).

He testified that he came to Canada as a refugee in 1995 after spending five years in Pakistan as an aid worker.

"This gives me hope to clear my name and live another day... and hope justice will prevail someday," Harkat said Wednesday.

"It's not over, but... I see the light at the end of the tunnel."

In its decision, the Federal Court of Appeal also upheld disputed provisions of Canada's immigration law that allow secret court hearings and indefinite jailing of foreigners suspected of terror ties, without charge.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

©2012 Google.



Photos From Our Recent Press Conference

posted on April 27, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Julie Oliver
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
Date: April 25, 2012

Mohamad Harkat, Ottawa
Mohamed Harkat smiles at a press conference in Ottawa, April 25, 2012. Photo by Julie Oliver for The Ottawa Citizen. All rights reserved.

See more of Julie Oliver's photos of the press conference.



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