Harkat security certificate upheld by court

posted on March 23, 2005 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: CBC News Staff
CBC News Ottawa
URL: [link]
Date: March 22, 2005

OTTAWA - A federal court judge has upheld the use of a security certificate against Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat, who has been held in jail for more than two years.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the Algerian-born man is a member of Al-Qaeda who trained in Afghanistan, then entered Canada as a sleeper agent.

On Tuesday, Madam Justice Eleanor Dawson ruled that the grounds for that certificate are reasonable, opening the way to Harkat's deportation.

She also rejected Harkat's constitutional argument that security certificates â?” which allow non-citizens to be detained on suspicion of being terrorists â?” violate fundamental justice.

The judge had agreed during the hearing not to rely on evidence against Harkat from some witnesses who may have been tortured or may have given false evidence, including Maher Arar and the so-called millennium bomber, Ahmed Ressam.Defence lawyer Matthew Webber says he suspects her decision is based on other confidential sources the defence team did not know about.

Webber says the defence will now discuss whether to launch further appeals to try to prevent Harkat's deportation to Algeria.

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