When Governments Take a Leak, it Can Smell Very Bad

Reg Whitaker, Prism, 12 Aug 2011

The recent leak to La Presse of an alleged CSIS document implicating Adil Charkaoui and Abousfian Abdelrazik in a plot to bomb an airliner raises the most serious issues.

These emphatically do not include the specific allegation nor the implication that either man represents an actual terrorist threat. These are without substance, as the government’s own conduct of the Charkaoui security certificate appeal and its handling of Abdelrazik’s case clearly demonstrate.

The real issues surround the behaviour of Canadian security agencies in apparently violating the Security of Information Act to defame individuals whom they have been unable to convict in the courts

The real issues surround the behaviour of Canadian security agencies in apparently violating the Security of Information Act to defame individuals whom they have been unable to convict in the courts; media complicity with such behaviour; and finally the potential responsibility of high government officials in either deliberately failing to investigate and charge the leakers, or by covertly authorizing such actions by their appointees.

Press Release: Leak of defamatory information: A recurring nightmare

Coalition calls for public inquiry into second leak

Montreal, 10 August 2011 -- The Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui is outraged by the leak of a secret document containing completely false allegations against Montrealer Adil Charkaoui, whose security certificate case was struck down in 2009. Noting that an almost identical leak happened in 2007, the Coalition is calling for a public inquiry and asking other Canadians to join it in challenging Minister Jason Kenney's unacceptable comments.

"These allegations are false and constitute a wholly unmerited attack on my reputation and my security," said Mr. Charkaoui. "I spent six years of my life proving my innocence in a secret court process when I didn't even know what I was accused of. After the federal court revoked the security certificate against me, I expressed the hope that I wouldn't spend the rest of my life as an 'ex-suspected'. Now, almost two years after the court cleared my name, I find myself again in the court of public opinion. This must stop."

Bomb Plot Leak to La Presse and the Minister’s Response

Aug 7th, 2011, Maher Arar, Prism Magazine
http://prism-magazine.com/2011/08/bomb-plot-leak-to-la-presse-and-the-mi...

The latest bomb plot information (or misinformation) that was leaked to La Presse implicating both Charkaoui and Abousfian should make every Canadian concerned about how national security information is being disseminated in the public domain without checks and balances, and most importantly, without going through the proper judicial channels.

To start with let us briefly and carefully review this information which is now found on almost every major news web site in Canada.

In summary, the information, part of which seems to be recycled, relates to an alleged “encrypted” phone conversation that took place in the year 2000 during which both Charkaoui and Abousfian discussed a potential bomb plot to blow up an unspecified commercial plane. Moreover, it states that shortly after the interception of this alleged phone conversation CSIS found traces of explosives in Abousfian’s car.

Without arriving to a conclusion on the credibility of this information, which only a judge with full access to all documents can do, the timing and the nature of this leak raises very important questions of national importance:

Lawyer attacks 'plane plot' leak

Document surfaced as UN considering whether to take client off terror list

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Lawyer+attacks+plane+plot+leak/52151...

Sue Montgomery, Montreal Gazette, 6 August 2011

MONTREAL - A 2004 document from Canada's spy agency alleging that Abousfian Abdelrazik and Adil Charkaoui conspired more than a decade ago to blow up a plane from Montreal is a blatant attempt by government officials to use old and unfounded information to continue to brand Abdelrazik a terrorist, his lawyer said Friday.

The document was leaked anonymously to the media Thursday, as the United Nations Security Council deliberates whether to remove Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, from their terrorist blacklist where he has appeared since 2006, even though he was cleared in 2007 of allegations of terrorism by CSIS and the RCMP.

"The government senior officials would be aware (that a decision is coming soon) and suddenly in the midst of that, this document comes out," Paul Champ said in a phone interview. "The official who released this was trying to sabotage Mr. Abdelrazik's delisting application."

Watchdog blasts CSIS over Adil Charkaoui documents

The Canadian Press, 21 May 2011

OTTAWA — A watchdog report has found that Canada's spy agency -- CSIS -- hasn't lived up to a Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling was from the case of Montrealer Adil Charkaoui, who was arrested for suspected terrorist links.

He was set free in 2009 after the case against him buckled.

The high court ruled that CSIS violated its legal obligation to keep documentation and disclose notes and other material during judicial proceedings.

CSIS made it policy to file notes and other information.
But CSIS inspector general Eva Plunkett says when she asked for original notes cited in agency reports, the spy agency couldn't produce them in some cases.

She says CSIS later determined its own reports were wrong and that no notes had been taken to support the information in them.

CSIS spokeswoman Isabelle Scott says the agency has since corrected the errors in its processes.

L'inoubliable odyssée d'Adil Charkaoui

En septembre 2009, Adil Charkaoui tient le bracelet de surveillance qu'il devait porter depuis des années. Le nouveau certificat de sécurité imposé à Charkaoui en février 2008 à la suite d'une décision du plus haut tribunal du pays vient d'être révoqué.

Fabrice de Pierrebourg, La Presse, 08 janvier 2011 http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/justice-et-faits-dive...

En juin 2009, tandis qu'il était encore visé par un certificat de sécurité, le Montréalais Adil Charkaoui s'est retrouvé malgré lui pendant 20 heures sans son bracelet GPS de surveillance imposé par la cour, a appris La Presse. Un cafouillage parmi d'autres survenu après son expulsion, à la demande des Américains, d'un avion reliant Fredericton à Montréal. S'en est suivi une odyssée qui aura mobilisé des dizaines de fonctionnaires pendant des jours, généré l'échange de centaines de courriels, et coûté environ 10 000$. La Presse a pu reconstituer ces événements après avoir épluché des centaines de courriels et des rapports obtenus grâce à la Loi sur l'accès à l'information auprès de l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC).

SOLIDARITY WITH MOHAMED HARKAT

Federal Court Judge Simon Noel today ruled to uphold the security certificate against Mohamed Harkat as "reasonable".

December 10th is International Human Rights Day and the 8th anniversary of Mohamed's arrest under a security certificate. On December 10th, people in Ottawa and Montreal will come together to protest this unjust and horrible decision:

OTTAWA VIGIL
December 10th, 2010 at 5pm
Human Rights Monument (corner of Lisgar and Elgin)
Bring your candles, lanterns, flashlights, signs and banners…bring your friends!
More information: www.justiceforharkat.com

MONTREAL PROTEST
Friday, 10 December, noon
CSIS Offices
715 Peel Ave. (corner of Ste-Antoine, at Bonaventure metro)
More information: commissionpopulaire@gmail.com

Stop Secret Trials in Canada!
Abolish Security Certificates!

Mohamed Harkat was arrested on December 10th, 2002 under a Security Certificate without charge or access to the evidence. Detained for 43 months, he spent one year in solitary confinement. Released in June of 2006, he was placed under the toughest conditions in Canadian history. His Canadian wife was his full-time jailer and prisoner in her own home.

Now he faces deportation to torture…all under a veil of secrecy for National Security reasons. CSIS alleges, assumes, believes…would you trust them with your life?

BACKGROUND

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.”

Charkaoui launches suit after ordeal

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."

Wahid Baroud

Palestinian man Canada deported is welcomed as Belgian citizen

Jim Bronskill And Sue Bailey, Canadian Press, 15 December 2009

BRUSSELS, Belgium - A Palestinian man turfed from Canada as a national security risk has become a citizen of Belgium - one of Ottawa's steadfast European allies, The Canadian Press has learned.

It's the latest twist in the strange, often painful saga of Wahid Baroud. He was shipped off to Sudan 14 years ago this month under a national security certificate.

Along the way he lost a job, a son and his respect for Canada before gaining a country to call home after decades as a stateless wanderer.

"Canada is the reason for destroying my family, really," Baroud, 59, said during an interview in Brussels, the first time he has publicly told his story since being deported.

The security certificate, an immigration law process for removing suspected terrorists and spies, is buckling under the weight of successful court challenges and human-rights criticism.

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan says the government is reviewing the certificate system after conceding it needs an overhaul.