Arar's suit had already been rejected because going forward might harm Canadian US intelligence relations. Apparently they are not harmed by lying or hiding info as the US operatives did to their Canadian counterparts. Apparently they are not harmed by Canada sending wads of raw data without caveats or verification that included portraying Arar and his wife as Islamic militants and Arar as part of an Al Qaeda cell in Canada! No harm in that!
I doubt that Arar's case will get anywhere. In the US he is still considered an Al Qaeda agent by virtue of an immigration court decision. Are they going to admit this is complete nonsense? Not likely.
Arar's lawyers unfazed by reversal in other rendition case
CanWest News Service
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
NEW YORK - Lawyers for Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar say his bid to sue the U.S. government for secretly shipping him to Syria for torture is unaffected by a U.S. Supreme Court decision Tuesday to reject another high-profile "extraordinary rendition" case.
In a statement, they outline differences between Arar's case and that of Khaled al-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen who has also seen lower courts cite national security concerns for refusing to consider his accusation the CIA kidnapped and tortured him.
"The (government's) state secrets assertion in (Arar's) case seeks to protect the reasons U.S. officials sent him to Syria instead of Canada, not whether they were even involved in his rendition, as in Mr. al-Masri's case," says the statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.
The difference is significant, says the centre's executive director Vincent Warren, because its lawyers don't believe they need to know why the U.S. government deported Arar to Syria in order to win the case - only that they did so.
On the deportation itself, says Warren, exposing new government secrets is unnecessary because the long-running Canadian judicial inquiry into Arar's case exposed a "significant amount" of what had been secret about the U.S. involvement in his deportation.
"In the al-Masri case the U.S. government would never admit it was even involved in his rendition, whereas in Maher Arar's case it is quite clear that it was involved," said Warren. "We've got the goods on the U.S. government and the court doesn't need to rely on secret government information in order to determine what happened."
U.S. officials arrested Arar in 2002 as he returned to his Ottawa home via New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, claiming he had links to al-Qaida based on information provided by the RCMP.
They later deported him to Syria under its then-secret "extraordinary rendition" practice, whereby terrorist suspects were sent to regimes with poor human rights records for interrogation.
The Canadian government has agreed to pay Arar and his family $11.5 million in compensation after the Canadian judicial inquiry cleared him of having any terrorism links.
But in the U.S., a federal trial court judge threw out Arar's lawsuit claiming U.S. compensation in February 2006, on grounds that going ahead could damage national security relations with Canada.
His lawyers seek to have the ruling overturned in an appeal scheduled for Nov. 9 in New York.
Al-Masri says the CIA abducted him in Macedonia in 2003 and flew him to Afghanistan for interrogation.
The Supreme Court decision in his appeal means a lower court's ruling that his case can't be heard on national security grounds will stand.
"More than any government in our history, (the administration of George W. Bush) has hidden behind the state secrets privilege to avoid being held accountable for breaking the law," Warren said.
"Khaled al-Masri has been denied justice. Soon we will see if this truly is a country that sends innocent men to be tortured and then sweeps its mess under the carpet, or whether we will at least grant Maher Arar some small measure of justice for what he endured."
© CanWest News Service 2007