By Jonathan Abrams, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer
On October 14th, a Canadian Federal Court judge dismissed the Canadian government’s case against a Montreal resident arrested under a controversial deportation program.
In 2003, Adil Charkaoui was arrested under a security certificate–an administrative tool by which the Canadian government can detain non-citizens without charge and without showing them or their lawyers the evidence against them. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) alleged that Mr. Charkaoui was an al-Qaeda sympathizer who should be returned to his native Morocco.
After two years’ imprisonment, Mr. Charkaoui was released, but made to wear an ankle bracelet, placing him under virtual house arrest. Beginning in February, Judge Danielle Tremblay-Lamer ordered that many of the conditions placed upon him be removed as they had become disproportionate given the time that had elapsed since he first faced terrorist allegations.
In July, the government was ordered to reveal its evidence against Charkaoui. The government refused, citing national security concerns. It then withdrew the evidence, thereby rendering the certificate void.
The sixty-eight page judgment handed down on October 14th declared the certificate quashed with no right of appeal on the part of the government. Judge Tremblay-Lamer wrote, “It’s understandable that a disagreement on . . . one element of the evidence might lead the ministers to believe the court has given more weight to the rights of an individual over the demands of national security. . . . However, this belief is not founded.”
Mr. Charkaoui is demanding an apology and compensation from the federal government.
Canadian authorities are still detaining four men under authority of security certificates. All are seeking to avoid deportation.