Tuesday, August 31, 2010


*** I hope the wiretaps hold up and I hope they do a proper analysis of the contents. It could be just like the Toronto 18 case; everyone swearing up and down the suspect(s) are not involved and the lo and behold - their voices on tape confirming it. MS ***


By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Wiretaps expected to be introduced in court Friday may also help connect the dots between a suspect charged with assault and the arrests of three other men on terrorism charges.

While the RCMP arrested the 20-year-old Ottawa man last week in connection with their year-long homegrown terror probe, he wasn't charged in that case.

Instead, he is now being detained on unrelated domestic assault charges.

A bail hearing in the assault case was held Tuesday, but a decision pushed back until the end of the week because the Crown provided the defence with its evidence only on Tuesday morning.

The man's lawyer, Richard Morris, asked for the court delay.

"Part of the process is you're trying to maximize the odds of success and part of that from my perspective is making sure I know the case the Crown is going to bring against my client, so I can answer it properly and completely," said Morris.

While many media outlets have named the individual, The Canadian Press has refrained from doing so because the RCMP has not publicly linked the man to the terrorism probe, nor indicated it will proceed any further.

Morris said he would meet with his client later Tuesday to review the 19 different evidentiary documents provided by the Crown, including transcripts of the wiretaps. Morris said he'll also listen to the audio itself.

"They appear to be conversations, I don't even know who is in the conversations at this point," Morris said outside court.

Neither side is expected to ask for a publication ban on the evidence on Friday, meaning whatever is on the tapes can be made public.

Morris said he wasn't concerned that the information could be overly prejudicial.

"My view is that if any one of us had a microphone in our house for a period of time we'd probably be embarrassed if some of the material comes out, and I trust the public will realize that," he said.

The man's sister and father are also expected to be called as witnesses.

He didn't speak in court Tuesday, save for telling the justice his name.

Included in the group of people at the courthouse were several young Muslim women who bided the time before the hearing trading stories about how hard it is to be a young female Muslim.

Outside the courthouse, they pushed back at a news photographer attempting to take their photo, yelling at her that she didn't have ethics or morals.

A cluster of young men awaiting the court hearing gathered around a copy of a local newspaper featuring the man's story.

As one of them put it: "They don't have anything on him. It even says so." (MS: That is why local papers do not substitute for evidence.)

Outside court, one of the men said he was worried about justice taking too long.

"I see a lot of delays, fumbling around and procrastination," said Troy Rambaran, who said he knows the man and his family.

"That's not how it's supposed to be going on. I feel that it's an abuse of power."

Morris said his client was frustrated by the delay.

"He was looking forward to the bail hearing," he said.

"Just because of the inherent slowness of the process, he's frustrated in that goal."

Three other men are in custody after a year-long investigation by the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and other agencies.

Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, both of Ottawa and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ont., are charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

They were expected to appear in court Wednesday.

Morris said he didn't know whether his client knew any of the terror suspects.

They were arrested after an investigation that included the discovery of more than 50 electronic circuit boards, supposedly designed to be remote detonators for explosive devices.

Police also seized videos, terrorist literature and bomb-related documents.

Police claim the terrorism plot stretches from Ottawa to Afghanistan, Dubai, Iran and Pakistan. But there has been no official word on the alleged targets.

Morris said he had no indication that terrorism charges against his client were coming.

But the strangeness of his client's case so far means anything is possible, the lawyer suggested.

The man was arrested Friday, released on bail Saturday and then promptly rearrested again.

"It's getting to the point where little surprises me," said Morris.