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Terrorist proceedings "a show trial for political ends"

Issue: 23 Section: Canadian News Geography: Ontario Topics: terrorism, prison

June 14, 2006

Terrorist proceedings "a show trial for political ends"

by Van Ferrier

Defence lawyers representing the 17 men being held as terrorist suspects in Southern Ontario since June 2 are protesting the recent publication ban levied by justice of the peace Keith Currie.

Rocco Galati, the defence lawyer representing 21-year-old Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, told reporters, "I want the public to see the bail hearing, I want the public to assess for itself and have confidence in the administration of justice and the only way to do that is with a live feed."

Galati accused "confidential police sources" of unfairly leaking selected information to the media "to ensure the denial of a fair bail hearing and the denial of a fair trial."

Aljazeera quoted Galati, condemning what he described as "a show trial for political ends," noting the intention was "to influence the vote in the House of Commons on extending the anti-terrorism provision and to influence the Supreme Court ... in its constitutional review of anti-terrorism provisions."

According to the Toronto Star, defence lawyers said their clients' cell lights are being left on 24 hours a day, they're being forced to keep their eyes on the floor and are being woken every 30 minutes. The lawyers said that amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment," and a breach of their clients' Charter rights.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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