Release: Charkaoui launches suit to obtain apology

Montreal, 12 March 2010 – Adil Charkaoui’s fight to clear his name brought him twice to the Supreme Court before he finally won his case in 2009. Now, almost seven years after Mr. Charkaoui was originally arrested in Montreal under a “security certificate” he is taking steps to obtain the apology he needs to finally put his life back on track.

In December, Mr.Charkaoui’s lawyers put the government on notice, asking for an apology, citizenship and reasonable reparation for Mr. Charkaoui. Failing to get a response, the legal team, which includes security certificate veteran Johanne Doyon, submitted a formal application aimed at holding government officials accountable.

“This is about accountability. This is about restoring my good name. This is about reparation for an injustice,” said the 36 year-old French teacher and father of four from his home in Montreal. “If our officials aren’t held to account, what else will they be able to get away with?”

“They destroyed his reputation, and not only in Canada. As Federal Court Justice Simon Noel recognized, CSIS sent false intelligence reports about him around the world.” said Mary Foster of the Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui. “He needs an apology from the government in order to begin to repair this damage.”

“The toll this has taken on me and on my children is incalculable. Devastating: two years of prison; four years of living under the most intrusive conditions; six years of ever-present stress and instability, of being threatened with torture. That is why my three oldest children - aged 8, 6 and 4 - who lived through this nightmare with me, are also named as applicants,” added Mr. Charkaoui

The Attorney-General of Canada, CSIS, the RCMP, the CBSA, the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Immigration, the Minister of Justice as well as Denis Coderre, Wayner Easter, Diane Finley and Stockwell Day in their personal capacities are all named in the suit.