Leak of defamatory information: A recurring nightmare

posted on August 10, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Coalition Justice Pour Adil Charkaoui Source: Press Release URL: [link] Date: August 10, 2011 Press Release Leak of defamatory information: A recurring nightmare Coalition calls for public inquiry into second leak

Montreal, 10 August 2011 -- The Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui is outraged by the leak of a secret document containing completely false allegations against Montrealer Adil Charkaoui, whose security certificate case was struck down in 2009. Noting that an almost identical leak happened in 2007, the Coalition is calling for a public inquiry and asking other Canadians to join it in challenging Minister Jason Kenney's unacceptable comments. "These allegations are false and constitute a wholly unmerited attack on my reputation and my security," said Mr. Charkaoui. "I spent six years of my life proving my innocence in a secret court process when I didn't even know what I was accused of. After the federal court revoked the security certificate against me, I expressed the hope that I wouldn't spend the rest of my life as an 'ex-suspected'. Now, almost two years after the court cleared my name, I find myself again in the court of public opinion. This must stop." "It's like a recurring nightmare. La Presse published the same story in 2007 following the leak of another secret document which contained the same unfounded allegations. That document was later submitted to court and, in a January 2008 decision, Justice Noel of the Federal Court of Canada found the allegations to be unsubstantiated; Justice Tremblay-Lamer arrived at the same conclusion in 2009. How many times do I have to clear myself of the same allegations?" asked the Montreal high school teacher and father of four. "'We want a public inquiry into who is responsible for this leak and what the motivations were behind it," said Anna Malla, of the Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui. "We want to know what interests lie behind it; who is trying to manipulate the media and the public. The timing of this leak is highly suggestive, seeing that Mr. Charkaoui launched a lawsuit in 2009 to hold the government accountable for the abuse of his rights in the security certificate case. There are certain other indications that lead us to believe that high ranking officials may have been directly involved in this leak." "In 2007, the RCMP announced they were launching a criminal inquiry into the leak of the secret document, and CSIS announced they were launching an internal inquiry. The results of those inquiries were never made public and no one was ever held accountable. Why not? This time we insist on a public inquiry," continued Mary Foster, another member of the Coalition. "We also want Jason Kenney to explain his comments. Instead of condemning the leak, which was a criminal act, a violation - in his terms - of national security, and an attack on the security and reputation of two individuals, he used the leak to score political points and attempt to justify government abuses in the cases of these two men. If the courts have examined these allegations and been satisfied that they have no foundation, or if they are so hollow that they didn't even make it to court in the first place, what business is it of a cabinet minister's to announce that they constitute 'robust evidence'?" asked Foster. "In any case, we have now seen the secret document the sensationalist La Presse piece was based on, and if this is what Mr. Kenney calls 'very robust evidence', he should consider sitting down with a Department of Justice lawyer to get straight on a few of the finer points of the legal system in this country. Frankly, it is dangerous to have someone like that in public office." "His comments about 'political support groups' appear to be intended to silence public criticism of the government; to silence us. Well, they won't," added Foster. "We call on everyone in Canada to join us in sending a clear message to Mr. Kenney - through public statements, letters, press releases, public actions - that we will not be frightened into silence but will continue to fight for the rights of all." Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui www.adilinfo.org



Supreme court was right to ban use of secret evidence by intelligence services

posted on July 14, 2011 | in Category International | PermaLink

by Richard Norton-Taylor Source: The Guardian UK URL: [link] Date: July 13, 2011 Parliament must now reject government attempts to abandon the fundamental right to open justice

[PHOTO: Supreme court judges dismissed an attempt by the security forces to keep intelligence secret from those it was being used against.] Some very fine words were expressed by the supreme court judges as by majority they dismissed claims by MI5 and MI6 that any intelligence they have gathered must remain secret, withheld not only from the public but from their opponents in court. "The open justice principle is not a mere procedural rule," said Lord Dyson. "It is a fundamental common law principle." Parties have a right to know the case against them, and the right to confront their accusers, he said. "Any weakening in the face of advances in the methods and use of secret intelligence in a case such as this would be bound to lead to attempts to widen the scope for an exception to be made to the principle of open justice," warned Lord Hope.

[ Read the rest ... ]


Supreme court bans use of secret evidence to hide torture claims

posted on July 14, 2011 | in Category International | PermaLink

by Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent Source: The Guardian UK URL: [link] Date: July 13, 2011 Intelligence services tried to exploit 'closed material procedures' to conceal evidence relating to Guantánamo detainees

[PHOTO: Binyam Mohamed and Jamil el-Banna, two of the former Guantánamo Bay detainees at the centre of the secret evidence case.] The supreme court has outlawed the use of secret evidence in court by the intelligence services to conceal allegations that detainees were tortured. The decision will be seen as a significant victory for open justice, but the panel of nine judges pointed out that parliament could change the law to permit such "closed material procedures" in future. The appeal was brought by lawyers for MI5 seeking to overturn an earlier appeal court ruling that prevented the service from suppressing accusations British suspects had been ill-treated at Guantánamo Bay and other foreign holding centres. The case arose originally out of claims by Bisher al-Rawi, Binyam Mohamed, Jamil el-Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes and Martin Mubanga that MI5 and MI6 aided and abetted their unlawful imprisonment and extraordinary rendition.

[ Read the rest ... ]


Documenting Canada's 'war on terror'

posted on June 12, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Sara Falconer
Source: Rabble.ca
URL: [link]
Date: June 10, 2011


For any documentary filmmaker, gaining the subjects' trust is a challenge. But how do you break through to men who are still in the midst of a Kafka-esque ordeal of torture, secret trials, and constant surveillance?

Director Amar Wala and producer Noah Bingham are grappling with these issues as they film The Secret Trial 5, a crowdfunded documentary that takes a personal look at Canada's "war on terror." Their subjects, five Muslim men, have been held for over a decade using security certificates, a controversial measure of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that allows non-citizens to be detained indefinitely. Hassan Almrei, Adil Charkaoui, Mohamed Harkat, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Mohammad Mahjoub each spent two to seven years in prison, but have never been charged with a crime. Their lawyers and human rights groups have expressed strong concerns that the secret "evidence" against them is little more than hearsay, obtained by foreign agencies using torture.

Wala, who moved to Toronto with his family from Bombay when he was 11, first learned about security certificates from one of his professors at York University. "It's something I never would have believed existed in Canada," he says. His award-winning narrative short, The Good Son, told the true story of Mahmoud Jaballah's young son Ahmad, who was asked to translate for his father during a CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Services) interrogation in their home.

[ Read the rest ... ]

CSIS fails accountability standards

posted on May 22, 2011 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

By Jim Bronskill, CP Source: The Chroncicle Herald (Halifax, NS) URL: [link] Date: May 21, 2011 Csis Watchdog report: Spy agency isn’t keeping all notes

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy service has failed to meet strict new accountability standards set by the Supreme Court, says a watchdog report obtained by The Canadian Press. The latest annual review from the inspector general of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the spy agency hasn’t lived up to a high-court ruling that requires it to retain all operational notes, electronic intercepts and other investigative material. Almost three years ago, in the case of Montrealer Adil Charkaoui, the country’s top court found the agency’s destruction of notes violated its legal duty to keep documentation and — out of fairness — disclose the material during judicial proceedings. Charkaoui, a native of Morocco, was arrested in 2003 under a national security certificate for suspected terrorist links. He was set free in 2009 after the case buckled and the certificate was quashed. As a result of the 2008 high court decision, CSIS made it a policy to file away all notes and other information that make up a case record. The agency also gave personnel a training seminar on note-keeping. During her review, CSIS inspector general Eva Plunkett asked the service for original, hard-copy notes cited in agency reports. "In a number of cases the service was unable to locate hard copies of the operational notes," Plunkett wrote. After further examination, CSIS determined that its own reports were wrong and that no notes had been taken to support the information in them, she found. The Canadian Press obtained a declassified version of Plunkett’s top secret November 2010 evaluation under the Access to Information Act. Overall, Plunkett concluded CSIS had not strayed outside the law, contravened ministerial direction or exercised its powers "unreasonably or unnecessarily." She also praised CSIS employees for their "level of commitment and dedication," saying they "deserve our respect and appreciation." © 2011 The Halifax Herald Limited.



Supreme Court appointments need to be transparent

posted on May 18, 2011 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

by unsigned editorial
Source: The Montreal Gazette
URL: [link]
Date: May 18, 2011

MONTREAL - By the time Stephen Harper’s term as prime minister is over, four years from now, more than half the judges who make up the country’s top court will have stepped down.

Some departures – like the two announced last week by Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron – are by choice, others because the judges will have reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. As head of a majority government, Harper will be free to impose his vision on the nine-member court.

Canadians who believe the current Supreme Court justices are too inclined to make decisions that are Parliament’s to make will look forward to a Harper-influenced court.

Those who think the Supreme Court is already too timid in protecting Charter rights and civil liberties fear a highly politicized court too deferential to Parliament.

Unfortunately for most Canadians, figuring out whether either scenario is plausible requires the analytical ability of a Kremlinologist at the top of his or her game. Little is known by the general public about the current sitting justices – how many of them can you name off the top of your head? – and far less about those who might replace them.

The process by which judges are appointed to the top court traditionally ensured that they remained close to anonymous and their workings opaque. Until 2006, a prime minister together with a justice minister made the selection behind closed doors. The public was provided with a bare-bones announcement: a name and a province of origin.

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Awaiting appeal, accused Ottawa terrorist builds petition of support

posted on May 17, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: May 16, 2011 OTTAWA — Five months after a judge declared him a terrorist threat to national security, Ottawa’s Mohamed Harkat is still waiting to plead his case in the Federal Court of Appeal. That appeal hearing will likely not begin until the late summer or fall. Lawyers for Harkat and the government will hold a conference call Tuesday to discuss the timing of the appeal. In the meantime, Harkat continues to collect signatures on a petition that demands an end to the secretive security-certificate process. It allows the government to present evidence gathered by domestic and foreign intelligence agencies in secret in an effort to deport people. Because it’s an immigration proceeding, not a criminal one, the standards are different. More than 3,000 groups and individuals have signed the petition, including Amnesty International Canada, the Law Union of Ontario, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Green Party of Canada. A host of New Democratic MPs, such as Paul Dewar, Pat Martin and Jean Crowder, have also added their names to the petition. “I think it speaks volumes: people don’t want secret trials in Canada,” said Mohamed Harkat’s wife, Sophie, in an interview Monday. “People want to see democracy in this country; people want to see fair and open trials.”

[ Read the rest ... ]

VIDEO: Mohamed Harkat - Stop Secret Trials in Canada

posted on May 13, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

If you haven't done so already please sign our Statement Against Security Certificates in Canada. And please invite your contacts, friends, family and co workers to sign on as well. We need to hear your voice loud and clear. Take a stand against secret trials and deportation to torture based on flimsy allegations and secret, untested information from CSIS. Visit

WWW.HARKATSTATEMENT.COM

WWW.HARKATSTATEMENT.COM

We're hoping to reach or exceed our goal of 3,000 signatures before March 29th. A big thank you to our friend and supporter Tyrone Drummond for producing and uploading this video to help us spread the word!


FTQ prends position contre les certificats de sécurité

posted on April 17, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

par Fernand Deschamps Source: N/A URL: N/A Date: 16 avrils 2011 Voici la résolution du Congrès de la FTQ (résolution no. 128) et qui fut adoptée au conseil général de la FTQ le 16 mars dernier. CERTIFICATS DE SÉCURITÉ ATTENDU QUE le syndicalisme exercé par la FTQ et ses syndicats affiliés repose sur des principes de défense des droits des travailleurs autant au travail que dans la société civile; ATTENDU QUE le droit à un procès juste et équitable, dans le respect du principe de la justice naturelle, constitue un droit fondamental de la personne tel que garanti par la Charte québécoise et la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés de la personne; ATTENDU QUE le gouvernement canadien utilise les certificats de sécurité et tient des procédures où la preuve secrète est en violation directe des droits de la personne, à l’issue de laquelle la personne peut être déportée vers la torture, pratique que dénoncent les agences internationales de surveillance des droits civils au Canada ou ailleurs; ATTENDU QUE cette pratique de la loi prive toute personne du droit à une défense pleine et entière, contrevenant ainsi aux principes de protection et de défense pourtant prévus par notre système de justice; ATTENDU QUE la Cour suprême du Canada a reconnu le 23 février 2007 que les certificats de sécurité ne devraient pas enfreindre le principe de justice fondamentale, malgré le fait que les certificats de sécurité aient un rôle à jouer en matière de sécurité nationale; ATTENDU QUE la loi C-3 ne propose que des modifications mineures qui ne rétablissent en rien le droit à un procès équitable, principe de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés; ATTENDU QUE la contestation judiciaire se poursuit contre les certificats de sécurité; QU’IL SOIT RÉSOLU QUE la FTQ et ses syndicats affiliés dénoncent les certificats de sécurité et exigent le retrait de cette disposition de la Loi sur l’immigration et la protection des réfugiés.



Photos From "Day For Democracy" in Ottawa

posted on April 07, 2011 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

Thanks to Philippe Parent for these pictures taken at the April 6th "Day For Democracy" in Ottawa. CLICK HERE to see more photos from the event.
Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar speaks to a crowd gathered in downtown Ottawa, April 6, 2011


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