Thursday, September 18, 2008

Terror Suspect Charkaoui Loses Top Court Challenge


OTTAWA - Terror suspect Adil Charkaoui has failed in an attempt to get the Supreme Court of Canada to take another look at his fight to avoid deportation.

The Montreal teacher and father of three, who faces deportation to his native Morocco on accusations of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent, wanted the high court to revisit the issue of whether it is unconstitutional to deport someone who risks being tortured abroad.

In a prepared statement, a disappointed Charkaoui said he wanted the Supreme Court to "give the Conservative government a clear directive about the absolute ban on deportation to torture.

"There is a frightening trend," his statement added. "There are growing numbers of both non-citizens and citizens whom Canada has failed to protect from torture, from Sogi Singh to Maher Arar and more."

Charkaoui also wanted the judges to consider whether the case against him should be stayed because it has been mired in procedural delays.

In keeping with convention, the Supreme Court gave no reason for declining to hear the case.

Charkaoui, a permanent resident of Canada, was arrested five years ago on a rare "security certificate." He was released on bail, with strict conditions, almost two years later. Among other restrictions, he is forced to wear a GPS bracelet.

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