Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press, 13 March 2010 http://www.thestar.com/mobile/canada/article/779433
MONTREAL–A simple "sorry" and an offer to pay his legal fees might have sufficed, but Adil Charkaoui said he didn't even get that courtesy from the federal government.
So the Moroccan-born Montrealer who was accused by Ottawa of being a terrorist and who spent several years living under tight restrictions believes he was left with little choice but to sue the federal government.
Charkaoui said Friday he intends to sue for $24.5 million to restore his reputation after failing to get an apology from Ottawa.
He said the civil suit, filed in Quebec Superior Court on Feb. 22, is not about the money.
"I'm doing it to clear my name. This is very important for me," Charkaoui told The Canadian Press in a phone interview between teaching classes.
He said he sent a letter asking for an apology, his Canadian citizenship and compensation for lost income and legal fees after a federal judge quashed a security certificate against him.
The response he says he received was that the government was just doing its job. "To me, it meant `Go to hell,'" Charkaoui said.
"This is about accountability. I want to restore my name and they made a mistake and destroyed my life in Canada and outside Canada and they have to pay for what they did."