OTTAWA, Nov 22, 2012 (AFP) -
OTTAWA, Nov 22, 2012 (AFP) –
Canada’s Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear the case of a former Ottawa pizza delivery man declared to be a security threat with links to Al-Qaeda.
Mohamed Harkat, 44, was first detained in 2002 on suspicion of links to the global terror network and spent nearly four years in jail under a rarely-used national security measure before being released under strict bail conditions.
Harkat has denied terror links, claiming he fled Algeria over a crackdown on a political party to which he belonged, the now-defunct and banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).
Lower courts ruled he was likely an Al-Qaeda sleeper agent and a security threat but most recently in April excluded key telephone intercepts from evidence, delaying his deportation as the case was sent back to be heard again.
In that decision, the Federal Court of Appeal also upheld disputed provisions of Canada’s immigration law that allow secret court hearings and indefinite jailing without charge of foreigners suspected of terror ties.
Both Harkat and Canada’s immigration minister appealed to the Supreme Court. The new hearing will be the first major test of Canada’s revised security law since the original was struck down in 2007 as unjust and parliament rewrote it to ensure better legal representation of defendants.