Wednesday, June 9, 2010



Closing arguments from the Crown were heard in a Brampton, Ont., courtroom on Wednesday for the last two men accused of plotting attacks on Parliament and other Canadian sites.

Steven Chand, 29, and Asad Ansari, 25, are both charged with knowingly participating in a terrorist group that media and authorities have dubbed the Toronto 18.

Chand is also charged with counselling to commit fraud over $5,000 for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Speaking in Ontario Supreme Court, Crown attorney Croft Michaelson said evidence presented in court over the past few months proves a terrorist group existed and that the two men were actively involved in it.

He pointed to the accused's presence at a camp in Washago, Ont., in December 2005, which the Crown alleges was organized to recruit members to the group.

Croft alleges the men discussed what Canadian sites would be good to bomb and proposed targets like nuclear stations and Parliament.

He told the jury the men had weapons and ammunition and that one member of the group even built a detonator.

The Crown reminded the jury that to convict the men, they have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty of the charges against them but that doesn't mean the Crown has to prove the case with absolute certainty.

During the trial, Ansari testified in his own defence, saying he was not an active participant in the group and was not aware of any plans to bomb high-profile targets in Toronto and Ottawa.

His lawyers have argued that what he had to say should be given more weight than any of the other testimony or evidence presented.