VIDEO: AlJazeera Canada Reports on Security Certificatesposted on October 16, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
OPINION: The Supreme Court's secret hearingposted on October 14, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
[AUDIO] CBC's Michael Enright talks with Prof. Mike Larsen About Security Certificatesposted on October 07, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
CBC's The Sunday Edition: Security Certificates (October 6, 2013)
Mohamed Harkat se libère de son bracelet électroniqueposted on July 23, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Le juge Simon Noël considère que M. Harkat, qui a toujours nié tout lien avec le terrorisme, représente un faible danger, sans compter que les autorités fédérales n'ont pas réévalué son dossier depuis 2009. De plus, le résident d'Ottawa n'a brisé aucune de ses conditions depuis sa libération. Celles-ci sont disproportionnées par rapport au danger qu'il représente, selon le magistrat. Le bracelet électronique que Mohamed Harkat portait à la cheville permettait aux autorités de le retracer en tout temps. M. Harkat avait demandé en juin le retrait de son GPS, arguant notamment que le dispositif nuisait à son travail et l'empêchait de dormir, l'affectant physiquement et psychologiquement. M. Harkat, un réfugié algérien arrêté en décembre 2002 en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité, était assigné à résidence, à Ottawa, avec des conditions très strictes depuis sept ans. L'ancien livreur de pizza et préposé dans une station-service habite avec sa femme Sophie. Le gouvernement du Canada avait assoupli récemment ses conditions de libération, lui permettant notamment d'utiliser son téléphone cellulaire. Le couple soulagé
L'Ottavien a enlevé son bracelet mercredi soir dans les bureaux de l'Agence des services frontaliers, explique sa femme Sophie Harkat. Elle se dit « surprise », mais heureuse de cette décision. Selon elle, il serait « le détenu qui a porté le [bracelet électronique] le plus longtemps dans l'histoire du Canada ».
« On est vraiment, vraiment contents aujourd'hui. On est à une étape plus proche de la liberté, de la justice. Je pense que c'est un pas dans la bonne direction. » — Sophie Harkat
« Mon mari est extrêmement heureux. C'est la première fois depuis longtemps que je voyais vraiment les yeux de mon mari illuminés », constate Mme Harkat.
Mohamed Harkat pourra posséder son propre téléphone cellulaire, sans accès à Internet toutefois. Il aura également un ordinateur portable avec accès à Internet, mais les services frontaliers pourront le vérifier une fois par mois.
[PHOTO: Mohamed Harkat s'est fait enlever son bracelet, mercredi soir, dans les bureaux de l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada. Photo: Sophie Harkat] Par ailleurs, le couple aura le droit de voyager au Canada sans approbation, mais en donnant un avis de cinq jours aux autorités canadiennes. Ils étaient jusqu'ici limités à l'Ontario et au Québec et devaient obtenir l'approbation des services frontaliers avant de sortir d'Ottawa. Toutefois, Mohamed Harkat n'est pas en libération totale, il doit par exemple continuer de rendre des comptes aux autorités, explique sa femme. La cause de M. Harkat doit encore être entendue en Cour suprême, en octobre. « On a vraiment hâte de se présenter devant la Cour suprême pour débattre la constitutionnalité des certificats de sécurité », dit Sophie Harkat. Tous droits réservés © Société Radio-Canada 2013.
Mohamed Harkat no longer bound by GPS bracelet, other restrictionsposted on July 22, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
PHOTO: Mohamed Harket said it was a relief to be free after having his ankle bracelet removed, July 18, 2013. Photograph by: PAT McGRATH , THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
OTTAWA — Mohamed Harkat, the accused al-Qaida operative under the unwavering eye of Canada’s security services since 1995, has won more freedom.
Shortly after 8 o’clock Wednesday night in a government office near St. Laurent Boulevard, the 44-year-old Algerian had a GPS tracking bracelet unstrapped from his right ankle by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer.
For the first time in seven years, Harkat can now walk, sleep and bathe without the bulky electronic surveillance device locked around his limb.
The Federal Court of Canada, in a decision made public Thursday, also gave him permission to own a basic cellphone with a capacity for incoming and outgoing calls and text messaging, an Internet-enabled desktop computer and permission to travel within Canada.
“Yesterday, I saw a sparkle in Mo’s eyes I hadn’t seen in a really, really long time, his face was just glowing,” Harkat’s wife, Sophie, said Thursday.
“He got up this morning feeling refreshed because he actually slept with his two ankles on top of each other rather than crossed. He’s been sleeping with crossed legs for the past seven years.”
The CBSA offered a restrained response Thursday. The federal government maintains Harkat poses a threat to national security and wants him deported.
“The CBSA respects the decision of the Federal Court and remains diligent in monitoring all persons, such as Mr. Harkat, who are under terms and conditions of release,” it said in an emailed statement.
Harkat has not viewed the Internet since at least 2002 when he was first jailed on what remains largely secret evidence under federal security certificate as a suspected al-Qaida terrorist.
After being released on a court order in 2006 and placed under virtual house arrest, he remained off-line as a condition of his bail release.
“He’s never been able to communicate with family (overseas) through email, he has no clue how big the Internet is. For him, it’s (going to be) so new,” said his wife.
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Accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat freed of tracking deviceposted on July 22, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
PHOTO: Terror suspect Mohamed Harkat has been freed from the GPS tracking anklet that he has had on for seven years. The device was removed on a federal judge’s order Thursday. Harkat cools off at a water park near his home in Ottawa, On. Thursday, July 18, 2013. This was the first time in seven years that Harkat wore shorts. Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
Terror suspect Mohamed Harkat has been freed from the GPS tracking anklet that kept him “an animal on a leash” for seven years.
He slept in Thursday, the morning after the device was removed on a federal judge’s order, instead of waking at dawn to spend two hours charging it. He can wear shorts in the heat.
The weight he dragged with every step is gone.
“It’s relief, like breathing pure oxygen,” he said Thursday.
“It’s one step to clear my name. It gives me hope for the future, the victory just around the corner. It’s just a matter of time to get there.”
Harkat, 44, can also have a basic cell phone and use a desktop computer connected to the Internet, although it will be subject to monthly inspections.
“It goes without saying” that he can’t access jihad sites or contact anyone linked to terrorism, Judge Simon Noel wrote.
The next step is the Supreme Court in his fight against Canada’s system of security certificates, which allow non-citizens judged security threats to be detained and deported without seeing all the evidence against them.
It’s been more than a decade since the former pizza deliveryman was arrested outside his Vanier home.
The Algerian refugee denies allegations he was an al-Qaida sleeper agent who once ran a safe house in Pakistan for Islamic extremists.
He spent 3 1/2 years behind bars before being released on strict conditions. He’s since been served with a notice of deportation.
Federal Court Judge Noel cited the passage of time and its reduction of the risk Harkat poses to national security in concluding the “demanding, intrusive” conditions were “disproportionate.”
“The initial danger has diminished considerably,” Noel wrote in a decision released Thursday. “Mr. Harkat has complied through time with the strict conditions. Conditions of release therefore have to be adapted to this new favourable reality for Mr. Harkat.”
He’s now a “well-known person” who owes a lot to his friends and family and won’t disappoint them with a breach.
“The consequences for him are too important,” Noel wrote.
Matthew Webber, one of the lawyers who will take Harkat’s fight to the top court in October, called the changes to his conditions “sweeping.” It’s a “significant legal observation” that a judge found any risk to Canada has dropped over time.
“We still have the Supreme Court on the horizon,” Webber said, adding “the case isn’t over yet.”
megan.gillis AT sunmedia.ca
Copyright © 2013 All rights reserved.
The secret court: Judges to go into hiding for Harkat hearingposted on July 22, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
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Les autorités retirent le bracelet GPS du présumé terroriste Mohamed Harkatposted on July 18, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Mohamed Harkat has tracking bracelet removedposted on July 18, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
OTTAWA — The wife of an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties says border agents have removed an electronic tracking bracelet from his ankle.
Canada Border Services Agency took the tracking device off late Wednesday as part of a court-ordered relaxation of Mohamed Harkat's release conditions, Sophie Harkat said Thursday.
It has been more than a decade since Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, was arrested under a national security certificate on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent — an accusation he denies.
Harkat, 44, has essentially been living under house arrest with stringent conditions — including the tracking bracelet — for seven years.
Sophie Harkat and her husband arrived home Wednesday to a phone message telling them to come to a border services office to have the bracelet removed.
"He feels like he's no longer an animal with a leash," she said in interview. "His eyes were just sparkling last night. And we were high-fiving each other."
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PHOTOS: Harkat Bail review Hearing, June 11, 2013posted on June 17, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
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