Sunday, April 8, 2007

SCC refuses to hear anti-terror appeal

Alleged al-Qaeda terrorist faces legal setback Top court's refusal to hear Khawaja appeal makes Crown's case easier,expert says KIRK MAKIN

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammad Momin Khawaja, clearing the way for the Ottawa man to face trial next month on seven charges of helping fashion a detonator for a fertilizer bomb. Mr. Khawaja, a 27-year-old Ottawa computer programmer, was the first person charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act.

The Crown alleges that he was part of an al-Qaeda cell that intended to explode the bomb at oneof several crowded venues in England. The Supreme Court's decision had the effect of upholding a Federal Courtof Canada ruling last fall, which struck down a requirement that the Crownprove an alleged terrorist act was motivated by "a political, religious orideological objective or cause."University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach said yesterday that inrefusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court has left the door open forMr. Khawaja to later mount an appeal based on the same issues should he beconvicted.

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