From The Ottawa Citizen.
Court lifts some bail restrictions on accused terrorist Harkat
Mohamed Harkat, a former pizza delivery man, was arrested in December 2002 on the strength of a security certificate that accused him of being a sleeper agent for al-Qaida. Harkat denies the allegations.
Photograph by: Chris Wattie, Reuters
OTTAWA — In a surprise move, a Federal Court judge has removed most of the bail restrictions on accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat.
Monday’s ruling allows the terror suspect — who was first arrested on a security certificate almost seven years ago — to travel alone within the city and ends the constant surveillance he has been under since his release on bail.
Harkat is still not allowed to use a computer or talk on a cellphone.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service contends Harkat, 41, a former pizza delivery man, is an al-Qaida sleeper agent.
Harkat, who came to Canada in 1995 and applied for refugee status, has always denied any connection to terrorism.
Security certificate provisions allowed authorities to detain and deport non-citizens considered national security threats.
Harkat’s wife, Sophie, said in an earlier interview her husband is eager to understand what foreign agencies are involved in the case against him.
“No matter where the information comes from, we want to challenge it,” Sophie Harkat said in an interview last month.
Harkat’s defence lawyer, Norm Boxall, said his client needs to understand what allegations and evidence flows from foreign intelligence services.
“Harkat can’t respond to things he doesn’t know,” he said.
In June, Canada’s border agency engaged in an unauthorized intelligence-gathering exercise, rather than a legitimate search, when it raided Harkat’s Ottawa home, a Federal Court judge has ruled.
Judge Simon No’l said Harkat’s constitutional right to privacy was seriously breached in last month’s raid, which featured 16 law enforcement officers and three dog teams.
He ordered the agency to return all material seized in the May 12 raid and to destroy any photocopied documents.