After six years of subjecting Montrealer Adil Charkaoui to surveillance, imprisonment, and house arrest, the Canadian government finally admitted that they have insufficient evidence to uphold the Security Certificate.
Mr. Charkaoui was arrested under a security certificate in May 2003; he spent nearly two years in prison and four years under draconian conditions. The Security Certificate against Mr. Charkaoui has never been upheld by any court of law. In the course of his marathon legal battle, Charkaoui won two victories at the Supreme Court, forcing the government to modify the Security Certificate legislation and CSIS to change its information-gathering policies. During this time, he has never seen the
evidence that supposedly exists against him, evidence that was used as the basis of his imprisonment, subsequent house arrest and accompanying conditions, which have severely limited his freedom of movement, his ability to parent his three children, and his continued job as a French
Last month’s revelation was the coup de grâce in a series of developments indicating that the government’s case against Mr. Charkaoui was crumbling. In April, the Ministers told the court that they were withdrawing all information sourced to electronic surveillance from the file. Then, in
mid-July, they withdrew more information, this time from what CSIS refers to as “human sources.”
Judge Tremblay-Lamer, following the government’s admission of lack of evidence, stated that she will consider whether she should quash the certificate or order the Ministers to revoke it themselves, “in light of the admission by the Ministers that the evidence is insufficient to meet their burden of proof.”
COME TO COURT ON SEPTEMBER 24 and 25th: The Federal Court has therefore convened a hearing on 24 and 25 September to decide this question (see three questions outlined in the court directive of 5 August here: www.adilinfo.org/en/node/595).
Four other men, all Muslim, remain under a security certificate in Ontario, including Mohammad Mahjoub, the sole detainee in the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, better known as “Guatanamo North”.