High court won’t hear terror sus­pect’s case

National Post (National Edition) - - CANADA -

OTTAWA • A terror sus­pect has one less le­gal av­enue to try to stave off de­por­ta­tion af­ter the Supreme Court of Canada re­fused to hear his ap­peal.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is try­ing to re­move Mo­hamed Mahjoub, 58, us­ing a na­tional se­cu­rity cer­tifi­cate, claim­ing he was a high-rank­ing mem­ber of an Is­lamic ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The Supreme Court de­ci­sion, handed down Thurs­day with­out ex­pla­na­tion, is the lat­est set­back for Mahjoub in a case that stretches back al­most two decades.

Coun­sel for Mahjoub had no com­ment and it was not im­me­di­ately clear what would hap­pen next.

The Egyptian-born man, mar­ried with three chil­dren, came to Canada in 1995 and at­tained refugee sta­tus.

He once worked as deputy gen­eral man­ager of a farm project in Su­dan run by Osama bin Laden, who would later spear­head the Sept. 11, 2001, at­tacks on the United States.

Mahjoub was ar­rested in June 2000 af­ter be­ing in­ter­viewed by Canada’s spy agency on six oc­ca­sions be­tween Au­gust 1997 and March 1999, each time deny­ing any in­volve­ment in Is­lamic ex­trem­ism.

He was ar­rested in June 2000 un­der a se­cu­rity cer­tifi­cate — a rarely used im­mi­gra­tion tool for de­port­ing non-cana­di­ans con­sid­ered a risk to the coun­try.

The Supreme Court ruled the cer­tifi­cate process un­con­sti­tu­tional in 2007 and the gov­ern­ment sub­se­quently re­vamped the law, is­su­ing a fresh cer­tifi­cate against Mahjoub the fol­low­ing year.

In 2009, Mahjoub was re­leased from prison on strict con­di­tions, which have since been re­laxed.

The Fed­eral Court found the se­cu­rity cer­tifi­cate to be rea­son­able, a con­clu­sion up­held by the Fed­eral Court of Ap­peal. The ap­peal court also agreed with the lower court’s re­fusal to stay the pro­ceed­ings per­ma­nently on ac­count of abuse of process.

Among other things, Mahjoub’s coun­sel had claimed the case was gravely tainted by use of hearsay ev­i­dence and un­sourced in­tel­li­gence ev­i­dence, in­for­ma­tion de­rived from tor­ture, breaches of solic­i­tor-client priv­i­lege and the in­ter­cep­tion of priv­i­leged phone calls.

At one point, sev­eral fed­eral lawyers and as­sis­tants were or­dered to quit the case be­cause the gov­ern­ment in­ad­ver­tently walked off with Mahjoub’s con­fi­den­tial files.

In its de­ci­sion, the ap­peal court said that “these par­tic­u­lar se­cu­rity cer­tifi­cate pro­ceed­ings can only be seen as fun­da­men­tally fair in their ex­e­cu­tion.”

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