Mohamed Harkat and his wife Sophie Lamarche were “devastated” when they learned of the Supreme Court’s decision said their lawyer Norm Boxall Wednesday (May 14) after the court ruled a Canadian “security certificate” issued against Harkat was constitutional.
The certificate is a rarely used and controversial government procedure for removing non-Canadians using secret evidence. in this case Harkat was “inadmissible to Canada on national security grounds” for allegedly coming to Canada to engage in terrorism.
Born in Algeria, Harkat came to Canada in 1995 and two years later was granted refugee status. He was married in 2001 and in 2002 was detained under a national security certificate which declared him a threat to Canada.
Since then he has been imprisoned for four years, faced deportation, and years of trying to clear his name, a challenge since the use of security certificates allows for secret evidence, but does not inform an accused of what that evidence is.
Even though the court ruled the security certificates are constitutional, it did impose a number of conditions on judges who would be involved in such cases.
RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has a report.Listen
Supreme Court of Canada decision – here
Toronto Star - Supreme Court upholds security certificate law in Mohamed Harkat terror case – here
Toronto Star - Five reasons the Supreme Court’s Mohamed Harkat ruling matters – here
Government of Canada website – Explanation of security certificate – here
Canadian Bar Association - The Harkat decision – here
Canadian Press - A timeline in the security certificate case of Algerian refugee Mohamed Harkat – here