by Michelle Zilio
Date: May 14, 2014
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the security certificate issued against accused al-Qaida sleeper agent and Ottawa resident Mohamed Harkat reasonable, making proceedings for his deporation imminent.
In a ruling issued Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the controversial security certificate process.
The decision, issued by all eight Supreme Court judges, marks the end of the security certificate appeal process for Harkat, who has been fighting the government on this front for more than 12 years. It’s a worst-possible outcome for Harkat, who now faces deportation.
“The ruling is difficult to describe in words. It’s more than disappointing. It’s devastating for Mr. and Mrs. Harkat,” said Boxall. “This does bring an end to the security certificate proceedings, but I’m sure it doesn’t bring an end to Mr. Harkat’s right to clear his name and maintain his right to live here.”
Harkat and his wife Sophie first heard the news from Boxall Wednesday morning. While they were at the Supreme Court when the ruling was issued, they did not speak with reporters.
Harkat was born in Algeria and moved to Canada as a refugee in September 1995. The former pizza delivery man was arrested outside his Ottawa home in 2002 on a national security certificate. The security certificate regime allows the federal government to detain and deport non-citizens deemed security threats without presenting all evidence against them.
by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
Date: May 14, 2014
Ottawa’s Mohamed Harkat once again faces deportation to his native Algeria after the Supreme Court of Canada on Wednesday declared the federal government’s security certificate regime constitutional.
In a unanimous ruling, the high court said the security certificate regime crafted by Parliament in 2008 – although an “imperfect process” — offers a fundamentally fair process that also protects national security information.
The Supreme Court ruling provides a detailed roadmap for trial judges to ensure that future security-certificate cases are conducted fairly.
In upholding a key element of the government’s anti-terrorism strategy, the Supreme Court decided that Harkat’s lawyers had failed to show that his security certificate hearing was unfair or had undermined the integrity of the justice system.
“In the present case, Mr. Harkat benefited from a fair process,” the court declared in a ruling that puts Harkat back on the legal road to deportation.
The high court reinstated the December 2010 judgment of Federal Court Judge Simon Noël, who deemed Harkat a terrorist threat to national security.
Noël said Harkat was a member of the al-Qaida network and linked him to a number of Islamic extremists, including Saudi-born Ibn Khattab, Canadian Ahmed Said Khadr, a key al-Qaida figure, and Abu Zubaydah, a facilitator in the Osama bin Laden network.
The ruling represents a much-needed victory for the government at the Supreme Court and a devastating loss for Harkat, who had been hoping the court would put an end to his almost 12-year legal odyssey.
par Marc Godbout
Date 10 octobre 2013
>>> REPORTAGE VIDEO IÇI <<<
La Cour suprême du Canada entend, jeudi et vendredi, la cause de Mohamed Harkat, cet Ottavien d'origine algérienne soupçonné d'activités terroristes par le gouvernement canadien.
Mohamed Harkat conteste la constitutionnalité du certificat de sécurité délivré contre lui et qui a permis aux autorités canadiennes de l'arrêter.
L'audition de la cause sera entourée de secret. Pour la première fois dans l'histoire du plus haut tribunal du pays, la journée d'audience de vendredi aura lieu à l'extérieur de l'édifice de la Cour suprême. Les juges seront retranchés dans un endroit tenu secret pour des raisons de sécurité nationale.
Une dizaine d'intervenants doivent défiler devant le tribunal, dont la directrice générale du Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés, Janet Dench.
« C'est une ironie, parce qu'on est en train de contester l'utilisation des preuves secrètes pour décider du sort d'un non-citoyen et là, on va également utiliser des audiences secrètes », souligne Mme Dench.
Mohamed Harkat réclame l'abolition du certificat de sécurité parce qu'il repose sur des documents secrets qui ont été détruits. Des groupes qui l'appuient estiment que cette procédure va à l'encontre des droits fondamentaux de Mohamed Harkat.
Au cours de l'audition, les avocats spéciaux nommés par le gouvernement et chargés de défendre les intérêts de Harkat viendront dire au tribunal qu'ils ne peuvent pas faire leur travail.
De son côté, le gouvernement fédéral demandera au plus haut tribunal du pays de maintenir le certificat de sécurité. Il estime toujours que Mohamed Harkat représente une menace à la sécurité du pays.
Jeudi matin, une cinquantaine de personnes arborant des affiches se sont rassemblées devant l'édifice de la Cour suprême en appui à Mohamed Harkat pour dénoncer les certificats de sécurité.
Rappel des faits
by Ian McLeod
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
Date: October 10, 2013
OTTAWA — Mohamed Harkat looks anxious, like a man with a trap door beneath his feet.
He’s seated in the living room of his modest brown-brick rowhouse on Ottawa’s southeast side. Sophie Lamarche Harkat, his wife and foremost defender, is at his side. The place is neat and tidy. The rest of their life is a mess.
Canada’s national security apparatus has had a stranglehold on Harkat since Dec. 10, 2002, when the gas station cashier was arrested here as an alleged al-Qaida “sleeper” agent.
It was international Human Rights Day. The recently married Algerian refugee claimant was hauled off to prison for 42 months under a secretive security certificate that allows federal immigration authorities to deport non-citizens deemed a threat to national security.
Then came seven years of virtual house arrest. All with no criminal charge and no trial.
After more than a decade Harkat, now 45, and his lawyers are still fighting deportation on grounds that call into question the state of fundamental justice in Canada.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court sits in open session to consider aspects of the case and whether national security secrecy trumps judicial transparency, accountability and the right to a full defence.
Both the government and Harkat are appealing a 2012 Federal Court of Appeal decision, which ruled that Harkat deserves a new Federal Court hearing to determine if he’s a threat to national security; that his right to a fair hearing was compromised by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which destroyed recordings of taped conversations from the mid-1990s; and that CSIS informants are not entitled to the blanket legal protection given to police informants to shield their identities.
On Friday, the high court is to reconvene in an extraordinary session at an ultrasecret, secure location to hear classified arguments. Harkat and his lawyers are barred from attending.
And therein lies the central issue — secrecy.
Click on the photo of Mohamed to see all items related to him. JUNE 2017: Mohamed Harkat once again faces deportation to his native Algeria after the Supreme Court of Canada declared the federal government’s security certificate regime constitutional.
This fight is not over. The Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee will re-double its efforts to see that justice is done for Mohamed Harkat and that the odious security certificate system of injustice is abolished once and for all.
Here is the contact information for Sophie Harkat.
Email Sophie: [email]
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Our Legal Team:
Barbara Jackman, Lead Public Counsel for Mohamed Harkat
Jackman, Nazami & Associates
Barristers and Solicitors
596 St. Clair Avenue West
Tel.: (416) 653-9964
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Christian Legeais, spokesperson and bilingual media contact: