Mohamed Harkat asks court to scrap GPS ankle bracelet

posted on June 12, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

By Doug Hempstead Source: The Ottawa Sun URL: [link] Date: June 11, 2013 OTTAWA — Just the thought of not having to lie on a bed for two hours each day to recharge his GPS tracking ankle bracelet was enough to make Mohamed Harkat smile Tuesday. The Algerian citizen, suspected of having ties to terrorism, has worn one for seven years. Now a Federal Court judge is considering Harkat's plea to have it removed after a lengthy submission by his lawyer, Matthew Webber. 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, and accused of operating a safe house for Islamic extremists in Pakistan when he was 19 and having associations with terrorist groups. He was jailed for 3 1/2 years — including one year in solitary confinement — and released on bail June 21, 2006. The government issued a security certificate against him and served him with a notice of deportation in 2011. If Harkat were allowed to use a computer, he'd be willing to allow Canada Border Services Agency or CSIS access to the device remotely or in-person to monitor his e-mails and the websites he visits, Webber said. The GPS is the major issue. Webber said the stress of wearing the bracelet has taken a psychological and physical toll on Harkat. Judge Simon Noel said there are "bound to be consequences when a person is subjected to the certificate procedure," but later suggested Harkat could perhaps wear some sort of watch-like device instead. It's not known how long Noel will take to make a decision on the restrictions. Copyright © 2013 All rights reserved.