Here we go again. This is the same pattern as happened with Maher Arar. Documents are leaked to the news media that show someone is a terrorist. These are classified documents. This technique seems to be a common underhand method for CSIS to justify itself. There is no way of verifying the truth of the documents. In the case of Arar the inquiry did show that the documents leaked to the press in his case involved confessions obtained through torture in Syria among other things. Although it is a criminal offence to reveal classified documents in this way no one has ever been found guilty of doing so in the Arar case and no doubt the same will be true in this case. The RCMP burned barns. The CSIS burns people's reputations.
Charkaoui denies talking about terrorist plot
Moroccan-born Montrealer demands federal inquiry into his security certificate
Last Updated: Friday, June 22, 2007 | 2:14 PM ET
A Moroccan-born Montreal man accused of being a terrorist denies new reports alleging he was part of a plot to hijack a plane and fly it into a building in Europe.
Adil Charkaoui, who has been accused of being an al-Qaeda sleeper agent, said Thursday he has never been involved in a terrorist plot.
( Charkaoui is calling for a federal and police inquiry into allegations against him, and has demanded the outstanding security certificate in his name be revoked. "A line has been crossed," he said on Friday.
The French teacher, 33, was responding to a report in the Montreal newspaper La Presse. It cited a Canadian Security Intelligence Service document that alleges Charkaoui followed two Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, and in 2000 talked about plans to fly a plane into a building in Europe with another man, Hisham Tahir.
The document, called Former Terrorist Training Camps in Afghanistan: Major Sites and Assessment, was the basis for a security certificate issued against Charkaoui in 2003. The certificate brought about his arrest and detention for nearly two years without him being charged with anything.
Charkaoui accused the federal government of leading a smear campaign against him by leaking classified information even his lawyers haven't seen.
While he admits he did know Tahir, who attends the same Montreal mosque and once worked at his pizzeria, Charkaoui insisted in all their conversations they never talked about a plot to crash a plane.
"These are pure lies. And I think the context is really surprising," he said in French. "I cannot trust [federal Public Safety Minister] Stockwell Day."
Charkaoui is asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to launch an inquiry to investigate how CSIS handled the security certificates, and also wants the police to intervene.
On Friday, Harper said he wouldn't comment on Charkaoui's concerns.
"This is a case in front of the courts. The government does not make comments. But it is a serious case," he said in French.
Document 'supposed to be secret': lawyer
Charkaoui's lawyer, Johanne Doyon, said the publication of the document violates federal law.
"This is a document that is supposed to be secret," she said. "We are flabbergasted that there was a CSIS leak. And we wonder what the real objective of this leak actually is."
Charkaoui's lawyers have not been able to access the document despite their lengthy court battle against the security certificate.
The Supreme Court agreed last winter to hear an appeal from Charkaoui, who wants to contest the security certificate proceedings launched against him by Ottawa on the grounds CSIS tainted evidence used to detain him.
The country's top court has already struck down the security certificates in a groundbreaking decision released in February 2007 that determined they violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But the court suspended the ruling for 12 months, to allow the government enough time to rewrite security laws, effectively meaning the security certificates are valid until further notice.
Charkaoui's Supreme Court of Canada case is expected to be heard sometime next year.