Mohamed Harkat

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Trudeau's brother asks government to keep Harkat in Canada

posted on March 02, 2016 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: March 1, 2016 [PHOTO: Justin and Alexandre Trudeau in 2010. Ottawa Citizen files] Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brother has written to a federal cabinet minister on behalf of Ottawa’s Mohamed Harkat, asking the Liberal government to continue its “sunny ways” by allowing the Algerian-born terror suspect to stay in Canada. Alexandre Trudeau, a Montreal-based filmmaker, said he has a policy of not lobbying the Liberal government in any way, but decided to make an exception in the Harkat case because his involvement in the cause predated his older brother’s entry into politics. In his letter, dated Feb. 27, Trudeau appealed to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to halt the unfair security certificate process and end the government’s attempt to deport Harkat. “I urge you to use your unique position as minister, and the discretion afforded to you under the law, to exempt Mohamed Harkat from deportation and let him stay and live a productive life in Canada,” Alexandre Trudeau wrote, adding: “Make this decision of yours another shining example of your government’s commitment to sunny ways.” The letter marks the first time that Trudeau, 42, has entered the political arena since his brother became prime minister in October. Harkat, 47, is now fighting deportation, and has enlisted the support of dozens of high-profile Canadians in that effort. Green Party leader Elizabeth May, former UN ambassador Stephen Lewis, torture victim Maher Arar, and Omar Khadr lawyer Dennis Edney are among those who have petitioned the government to end its ongoing attempt to deport Harkat. Alexandre Trudeau has been involved in the Harkat case for more than a decade. In 2005, he offered to act as a surety for Harkat during a bail application. Trudeau also wrote and directed a 2006 documentary, Secure Freedom, that examined the human rights abuses that took place in the name of Canadian national security after 9/11. The second son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau has kept a low profile since his brother took office, but he has never been afraid to take unpopular stands. A globetrotting journalist and documentary filmmaker, Alexandre Trudeau has criticized Canada’s intervention in Afghanistan and Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza; he also heaped praise on Cuba’s Fidel Castro as “something of a superman” in a 2006 essay. Trudeau shares a birthday (Dec. 25) with his brother, Justin, and served as a senior adviser on his 2012-13 campaign for the Liberal Party leadership. In his letter to Goodale, Trudeau said security certificates remain a “fundamentally unfair measure” since they preclude the ability of suspects like Harkat to challenge the evidence against them. “I am absolutely convinced that at this moment, he (Harkat) poses no danger whatsoever to the public or to public safety in Canada,” Alexandre Trudeau wrote, “but rather offers a positive commitment to the life he has created here. “Just as importantly, Canadian and international law prohibit complicity in torture, and there is good reason to believe that Mohamed’s deportation to Algeria could lead to his torture.” The law that governs security certificates, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, gives the minister the power to stop a deportation as long as it’s “not contrary to the national interest.” In May 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the government’s revised security certificate regime and affirmed a decision that found Harkat to be an active member of the al-Qaida terrorist network. The case against Harkat was built on 13 wiretapped phone conversations and at least two unnamed informants, one of whom failed a lie-detector test. The case remained dormant for 15 months until, halfway through last year’s federal election campaign, the government launched deportation proceedings. Harkat insists he will be tortured or killed if returned as a terror suspect to Algeria, the country from which he fled in March 1990 during a military crackdown on government opponents. Amnesty International Canada has warned that returning Harkat to Algeria would put him at risk of torture since many terror suspects are held in “incommunicado detention” where they’re routinely denied access to family, lawyers and doctors. In its annual report on conditions in Algeria, Amnesty International condemned the North African country for refusing visits by UN human rights officials investigating torture, enforced disappearances and counter-terrorism measures. © 2016 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.

God Willing: The Story of Sophie Harkat

posted on February 27, 2016 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Zoe Chong Source: The Carleton chapter of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) URL: [link] Date: February 26, 2016 “Terrorism.” The word threw Sophie Harkat back into her chair, like a bomb emitting a shockwave through the earpiece of the phone. The impact forced out a scream of disbelief, and her concerned colleagues ran to her. It was a Tuesday afternoon and Sophie was at her shared office in the membership fundraising department at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. She’d just received a call from her husband’s immigration lawyer: He had been arrested. For suspected terrorism. It was three weeks shy of their second wedding anniversary on Dec. 10, 2002, International Human Rights Day, when Mohamed Harkat was arrested under a security certificate—a controversial tool in Canadian immigration law, implemented in 1978, that allows the government to indefinitely detain non-citizens suspected of terrorism. A three-walled prison the government calls it—because the option to go back to your home country is always open, even if that means facing torture and even death. These individuals aren’t charged with a crime and don’t have access to any of the evidence against them. Since 1991, 27 men have been issued a security certificate. Currently, there are three men who have outstanding security certificates. Mohamed Harkat, 47, an Algerian-native who has lived in Canada since 1995 and goes by Moe—a name well suited for the community handyman—has been living in Ottawa under this security certificate for over 13 years. Sophie has been fighting for his life ever since. Moe was granted refugee status in 1997 after successfully claiming government persecution based on his political affiliations if he returned to Algeria, where his family still lives and he’ll likely never be able to see again. CSIS alleged that Moe was an al-Qaeda sleeper agent who attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and ran a guesthouse for terrorists in Pakistan, among other circumstantial evidence the government says is too dangerous to reveal.

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[AUDIO] CKUT Radio interview with Sophie Harkat (Jan 2016)

posted on February 05, 2016 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Rose W Source: CKUT News Collective URL: [link] Date: February 5, 2016 CKUT’s Rose W recently talked to Sophie Harkat, whose husband Mohamed Harkat was arrested 13 years ago under a secret trial Security Certificate. Listen:

Liberals must end Canada’s complicity in torture

posted on January 07, 2016 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Monia Mazigh and Azeezah Kanji Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] Date: January 7, 2016 The spectacle of torture haunts the “war on terror.” From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay to “black sites” and prisons all over the world, thousands of men and women (but mostly men) have been imprisoned and made subject to horrific forms of physical and psychological violence. Beatings, rapes, threats of rape, electric shocks, waterboarding, forced feeding, forced nudity – these are some of the barbarisms performed in the name of saving civilization from the threat of terrorism. Canada’s participation in this global network of torture is less visible than the United States’. Our involvement has been less direct. Our hands appear cleaner, our consciences less tainted. And yet, Canada has also been complicit in torture in the years since 9/11, under both Liberal and Conservative governments. We have also breached law and principle for the sake of “national security”: a “security” that seemingly continues to elude us, despite the sacrifices of rights and freedoms made at its altar. Canada’s position on torture is currently on trial in the case of Mohamed Harkat. Harkat arrived in Canada in 1995 as a refugee from Algeria. Seeking security, he was instead labelled a security threat, and detained without trial under Canada’s security certificate regime in 2002. Accused of being a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda, Mohamed Harkat was incarcerated for four years and then held under extremely restrictive bail conditions – all on the strength of secret evidence that he was not allowed to see. Now, Harkat is facing deportation to possible torture in Algeria. In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the security certificate against him, paving the way for the government’s deportation efforts. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who wrote the decision, acknowledged that Harkat “potentially faces deportation to a country where he may be at risk for torture or death, although the constitutionality of his deportation in such circumstances is not before us in the present appeal.” This assessment is corroborated by human rights groups. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, observed that deporting Harkat would expose him to risk of serious mistreatment. Indeed, Algeria is notorious for torturing prisoners, particularly those suspected of involvement in terrorism. International law condemns torture in the strongest possible terms. The ban on torture is absolute: no reason or excuse can justify the use of any form of torture. Article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture forbids deporting or transferring individuals to states where they may be tortured. Relying on pledges not to torture from states known to torture is also prohibited – as foolish as delivering a mouse into the jaws of a lion that has promised not to eat it. International law notwithstanding, the Conservative government initiated deportation proceedings against Mohamed Harkat during this last election, proceedings that the recently elected Liberal government have not halted so far. Disturbingly, this is not the first instance of Canadian government complicity in torture in the “war on terror.” For example, the O’Connor and Iacobucci inquiries revealed the role that Canadian government officials played in the secret detention and torture of four innocent Canadian citizens – Maher Arar, Ahmad El-Maati, Abdullah Almalki, and Muayyed Nureddin – in Syria (and also in Egypt, in the case of El-Maati). The ghastly details of Syrian and Egyptian torture chambers have long been public knowledge, documented in reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. But instead of protecting its citizens from abuse at the hands of these torturous regimes, our government took advantage of the situation: Canadian intelligence agencies sent information for the Syrians and Egyptians to use in their interrogations. The United Nations Committee Against Torture castigated the Canadian government for its complicity in the torture of Arar, El-Maati, Almalki and Nureddin. But while Maher Arar has received compensation for his ordeal, Canada’s other torture victims continue to fight lengthy legal battles for recompense. More recently, we have learned through media reports that Salim Alaradi, a Canadian citizen of Libyan descent who has been incarcerated for more than 17 months in the United Arab Emirates without charges, has been tortured. His lawyer Paul Champ told the media that the Canadian government knew Alaradi was tortured, but did not tell the family until he became involved in the case as lawyer. Is it a privacy issue as the government claims, or yet another deafening silence when it comes to denouncing torture? These shameful episodes did not only occur under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, infamous for its willingness to discard the basic human rights of certain humans, but also during the post-9/11 reign of the Liberal Party. The Liberals and their “sunny ways” are back again. Will they finally banish the dark shadow of Canadian complicity in torture? Dr. Monia Mazigh is an author, academic, and human rights activist, and is national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. Azeezah Kanji is a graduate of University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and programming coordinator at Noor Cultural Centre.

© Copyright Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. 1996-2016

Amnesty International warns Ottawa man faces serious mistreatment if deported

posted on December 14, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Jim Bronskill (CP) Source: CTV News URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2015 OTTAWA -- Amnesty International says Mohamed Harkat faces serious mistreatment if he is returned to his native Algeria and it joined the Ottawa man Thursday in urging the Trudeau government to halt his deportation. Harkat, a former pizza delivery man, was taken into custody 13 years ago on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent -- an accusation he denies. The federal government has been trying to deport the Algerian refugee on a national security certificate -- a seldom-used tool in immigration law for removing non-citizens suspected of extremism or espionage. Harkat, 47, fears he will be tortured if forced to leave Canada. "I love this country and I came here for a better life," he said during a news conference. "I just want my life back." Amnesty International's research suggests a return to Algeria could put Harkat at serious risk of being placed in "incommunicado detention," meaning he would be denied access to family, legal counsel or an independent doctor, contrary to international human rights law, said Hilary Homes of the organization's Canadian branch. People suspected of terrorism-related offences are often detained by the Algerian security forces and denied contact with the outside world, sometimes for prolonged periods, she said. In addition, Algerian courts continue to accept confessions extracted under torture or duress, resulting in unfair trials, Homes said. "Effective safeguards against torture or ill-treatment in Algerian law and practice are lacking and security forces continue to enjoy impunity for their acts of torture and ill-treatment of those they detain," she told the news conference. "It's time for Canada to do the right thing and stop trying to deport Mohamed Harkat." Harkat's lawyers have long argued the security certificate process is unfair because the person facing deportation doesn't see the full case against them. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the certificate against Harkat last year and the government has since taken initial steps toward removing him. Amnesty is concerned the federal government might rely on Algerian assurances that Harkat would not be mistreated in ultimately deciding to return him, Homes said. "Such assurances from governments with a poor human rights record are inherently unreliable and do not provide an effective safeguard against torture or ill-treatment." © 2015 Bell Media All rights reserved.

Harkat calls on Liberal government to cancel his deportation

posted on December 11, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2015 [PHOTO: Mohamed Harkat (left), who was arrested and detained under a secret trial Security Certificate, stands with lawyer Leo Russomano during a press conference to mark the 13th anniversary of his detention and International Human Right's Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. ] Ottawa terror suspect Mohamed Harkat has called on the Liberal government to halt his deportation and end his labyrinthine journey through the federal security certificate process. The Algerian-born Harkat, 47, issued a public plea Thursday for clemency on the 13th anniversary of his arrest at a Vanier townhouse complex. He subsequently spent three years in jail and another seven years under strict house arrest during a legal odyssey that twice saw his case go the Supreme Court. This August, more than a year after the high court affirmed a decision that found Harkat to be an active member of the al-Qaida network, the government launched deportation proceedings against him. “I would like to start a new page and be given a chance to move on with my life,” Harkat said in an interview Thursday. “I have big hope in this government.” Harkat said he would be imprisoned and tortured if returned to Algeria, a country from which he fled as a university student in March 1990 because of his opposition to the military government. After five years in Pakistan — security agents allege that he made terrorist contacts during that time — Harkat flew to Canada and claimed refugee status. He came to the attention of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service almost immediately, but was not arrested until December 2002 during the heated aftermath of 9/11. “I’ve spent my adult life in this country,” Harkat said Thursday, “and I love this county. I love the people.” Amnesty International has said returning Harkat to Algeria would likely expose him to “incommunicado detention,” a situation often faced by terror suspects in which they’re put at increased risk of torture through extended periods of isolation. Harkat’s wife, Sophie, said Canada has a legal and moral obligation not to deport someone to a country where they could face torture. “During the election,” she said, “the Liberals liked to describe themselves as the party of the Charter so we’ll be putting a lot of pressure on them to hold them to that.” What’s more, she said, it makes no sense to deport her husband when he has been living in the community for years without incident and has proven that he poses no threat. “Let’s just save everyone a lot of time, a lot of heartache and money, and end it right now,” she argued. “We’re not asking for an apology or anything else: We’re just asking them to drop the whole procedure. We just want to lead a normal life. That’s it.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brother, Alexandre, supported Harkat in June 2006 when he first applied for bail. Alexandre Trudeau filed an affidavit and offered a cash bond in support of Harkat’s application; he also wrote, directed and produced a documentary, Secure Freedom, that highlighted the injustices of the original security certificate process. Harkat lawyer Leo Russomanno said Thursday that he has received no indication from government officials whether they’re going to proceed with the deportation, which was initiated during the election campaign. Deportation promises to raise difficult legal issues. A government official will first have to determine whether Harkat remains a serious threat to national security. If the minister’s delegate concludes such a risk exists, the official must then assess what kind of torture risk Harkat would face if returned to Algeria, and whether the government can rely on diplomatic assurances that he won’t be mistreated. Those two risk assessments would then be weighed against one another to arrive at a deportation decision. The Supreme Court has ruled that terror suspects can only be deported in “exceptional circumstances” to countries where they face a substantial risk of torture. © 2015 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.

Harkat craint la torture s'il est renvoyé en Algérie, dit Amnistie

posted on December 11, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

par Jim Bronskill Source: La Presse URL: [link] Date: 10 décembre 2015 Amnistie internationale a affirmé, jeudi, que Mohamed Harkat risquait d'être gravement maltraité s'il était renvoyé dans son Algérie natale et a exhorté le gouvernement du premier ministre Justin Trudeau à interrompre le processus de déportation. M. Harkat, un ancien livreur de pizza résidant à Ottawa, a été arrêté il y a 13 ans parce que les autorités le soupçonnaient d'être un agent dormant d'Al-Qaïda, une accusation qu'il dément. Le fédéral a depuis tenté d'expulser le réfugié algérien en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité, une procédure de la loi sur l'immigration rarement utilisée permettant d'expulser du Canada de présumés terroristes ou espions ne possédant pas la citoyenneté canadienne. L'homme âgé de 47 ans craint d'être torturé s'il est forcé de quitter le Canada. «J'adore ce pays et je suis venu ici pour avoir une meilleure existence, a-t-il déclaré durant une conférence de presse, jeudi. Je veux retrouver ma vie.» Selon Hilary Homes d'Amnistie internationale Canada, M. Harkat pourrait être jeté en prison à son retour en Algérie sans possibilité de communiquer avec ses proches, un avocat ou un médecin indépendant, ce qui est contraire au droit international en matière des droits de la personne. Mme Homes a soutenu que les individus soupçonnés d'avoir des liens avec des organisations terroristes étaient souvent détenus par les forces de sécurité algériennes et coupés du monde extérieur, parfois pendant de longues périodes. En outre, les tribunaux algériens acceptent encore les confessions obtenues sous la torture ou par la force, ce qui mène à la tenue de procès qui ne sont pas équitables, a-t-elle ajouté. «Dans la loi comme dans la pratique, l'Algérie ne dispose pas de mécanismes efficaces pour protéger les personnes détenues de la torture ou des mauvais traitements et les forces de sécurité continuent à torturer ou à maltraiter les prisonniers en toute impunité», a fait valoir Hilary Homes durant la conférence de presse. «Il est temps pour le Canada de prendre la bonne décision et de cesser d'essayer de déporter Mohamed Harkat.» Les avocats de M. Harkat martèlent depuis longtemps que la procédure relative aux certificats de sécurité est injuste parce que la personne visée n'a jamais accès à l'ensemble de la preuve déposée contre elle. La Cour suprême du Canada a maintenu le certificat contre Mohamed Harkat l'an dernier et le gouvernement a amorcé les démarches pour le déporter. Amnistie craint que le fédéral ne se base sur les promesses du gouvernement algérien de garantir la sécurité de M. Harkat pour décider de le renvoyer ou non. «Les promesses de gouvernements ne respectant pas les droits de la personne ne sont pas fiables et ne garantissent pas que l'individu concerné ne sera pas torturé ou maltraité», a conclu Mme Homes. © La Presse, ltée. Tous droits réservés.

ICLMG: Mohamed Harkat’s deportation should be stopped immediately

posted on December 11, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Press Release Source: The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2015 The ICLMG read the following statement today at a press conference on Parliament Hill alongside Mohamed Harkat and his lawyer, the Justice for Mohamed Harkat collective, and two of our member organizations, Amnesty International and the National Council of Canadian Muslims. Last August 2015, the federal government launched deportation proceedings against Mohamed Harkat, exactly 20 years after he first arrived to Canada and claimed the refugee status. Mohamed Harkat was arrested on December 10, 2002 – exactly 13 years ago – under a security certificate, and since he has been in a legal limbo. He stayed three years in jail, some of them in Guantanamo North, the 3.2 million dollar prison built specially for Muslim detainees. After he was released, he was subjected to the strictest conditions of house arrest. His wife, Sophie Lamarche, became his “unofficial” jailer at home, thus losing what remained of their privacy. For many years, he had to wear an electronic tracking bracelet to monitor all his movements. In May 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the government security certificate regime and found that the security certificate against Mohamed Harkat was reasonable. However, the Supreme Court reminded the judges operating under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that they should be “interventionist”, and clearly stated that the government couldn’t proceed with a security certificate case unless the suspect is reasonably informed of the case against them to ensure their defence. Unfortunately, today, we haven’t seen any steps taken by the government towards allowing suspects to access the secret evidence, if any, against them. On the contrary, Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act passed in June 2015, reinforced the use of secrecy even in the cases involving Canadian citizens and has lowered the threshold and expanded the grounds for preventative arrest. This deportation decision would be the first step towards the removal of Mohamed Harkat from his peaceful life in Canada to torture and very likely disappearance and execution. Before being sent to torture, an assessment of the potential danger to Canadians posed by Harkat needs to be done. But realistically, what is the threat posed today by Mohamed Harkat? The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that terror suspects can only be deported in “exceptional circumstances” to countries where they face a substantial risk of torture, but it has not defined the full meaning of that concept. According to many human right organizations, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Algeria is still considered to be a country where grave violations of human rights are common. Can Canada really accept in good conscience the diplomatic assurances that would be given to deport Mohamed Harkat to Algeria? We do not believe it can. Today, we ask the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, to immediately stop the deportation procedures against Mohamed Harkat. And we add: does this government want to be remembered for sending a refugee back to torture or execution? ICLMG believes that Mohamed Harkat should be allowed to stay in Canada with his wife. After more than a decade of legal fights, secrecy, physical and emotional distress, it is time to give Mohamed his rights and his life back. Thank you. Copyright © 2015 International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Government launches deportation proceedings against Harkat

posted on September 22, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: September 18, 2015 The federal government has launched deportation proceedings against Algerian-born terror suspect Mohamed Harkat 20 years after he first arrived in Ottawa as a refugee claimant. The case had been dormant for more than a year — ever since the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the government’s security certificate regime and affirmed a decision that found Harkat to be an active member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. But for reasons that remain unexplained, the government took no action against Harkat for 15 months after its court victory. A spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Friday she would “not speak to specific cases.” Late last month, almost four weeks into the federal election campaign, Harkat received an official letter from the CBSA informing him that the first step in his deportation process had begun. “He was totally devastated,” Harkat’s wife, Sophie, said in an interview. “That big grey cloud he’s had over his head for 13 years, it just got a lot darker.” Harkat said her husband had hoped the government wouldn’t pursue his deportation. “How big a threat can he be if they wait 15 months to issue this letter?” Two years ago, an electronic tracking bracelet was removed from Harkat’s leg and his release conditions relaxed to allow him to travel outside of Ottawa, use a mobile phone and an Internet-connected computer. Monia Mazigh, national co-ordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, said the move to deport Harkat comes at an odd time: with an election in full swing and with no certainty about what party will form the next government. “We see this as a very, very dangerous move,” said Mazigh, who argued that Canada should not deport someone if there is even the slightest possibility that they will be mistreated or tortured. Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, said returning Harkat to Algeria would put him at serious risk of being placed under “incommunicado detention,” a situation in which prisoners are denied access to family, lawyers and physicians. Amnesty, he said, has documented numerous cases of terror suspects being held for prolonged periods under such conditions, putting them at increased risk of torture. Harkat, 47, was first arrested on the strength of a security certificate in December 2002. He spent more than three years in jail and another seven years under strict house arrest during a legal odyssey that twice saw his case go the Supreme Court. The deportation process promises to raise more difficult legal issues. The first step involves an assessment of the danger that Harkat poses to Canadians. A government official appointed by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will have to determine whether Harkat remains a serious threat to national security given his public profile, the passage of time and other factors. If the minister’s delegate concludes such a risk exists, the official must then assess what kind of torture risk Harkat would face if returned to Algeria, and whether the government can rely on diplomatic assurances that he won’t be mistreated. Those two risk assessments would then be weighed against one another to arrive at a deportation decision. The Supreme Court has already ruled that terror suspects can only be deported in “exceptional circumstances” to countries where they face a substantial risk of torture, but it has not defined the full meaning of that concept. Harkat arrived in Ottawa as a refugee in September 1995 after living in Pakistan for five years. Before his arrest, Harkat worked as a pizza delivery man and gas station attendant while also developing an expensive casino gambling habit. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) built a case against him based on 13 wiretapped phone conversations recorded between 1996 and 1998, and at least two unnamed informants, one of whom failed a CSIS lie-detector test. In 2009, CSIS issued a threat assessment report that suggested Harkat had played a mostly logistical role for jihadists and did not engage in acts of violence. It concluded that his threat to Canadians had diminished over time but not disappeared. © 2015 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.

Suspect tortured by CIA figured in Canadian security cases

posted on January 09, 2015 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Tu Thanh Ha Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2014 The scathing report on the CIA’s brutal interrogation techniques from the U.S. Senate repeatedly mentions a terrorism suspect called Abu Zubaydah, describing how the torture inflicted on him yielded no valuable information. Abu Zubaydah is the source the Canadian government cited a decade ago in court documents about two suspects arrested in Canada, Adil Charkaoui and Mohamed Harkat. Canadian judges eventually ruled that the evidence Abu Zubaydah gave to his U.S. interrogators was not reliable, even though federal lawyers at one point insisted there was no coercion. The government argued that the information implicating Mr. Charkaoui was “obtained freely and without constraint,” according to a Federal Court ruling in July, 2004. In the case against Mr. Harkat, the government told the judge there was “no proof, on a balance of probabilities, that evidence obtained from Abu [Zubaydah] was obtained as a result of torture,” a 2005 ruling said.

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