The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Via suspect still unable to find lawyer willing to push for Qur'an-based trial

  • Print

TORONTO - The cases of two terror suspects charged in an alleged plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train couldn't move forward Tuesday because one of the men cannot find a lawyer.

Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser briefly appeared separately in court via video from detention centres and are set to return Aug. 19.

Crown Attorney Sarah Shaikh told the court that she had hoped to be able to schedule a judicial pre-trial for both, but it wasn't possible since Esseghaier has no lawyer.

Esseghaier has said at previous appearances that he does not want to be judged by the Criminal Code, rather he wants the Qur'an to be used for his judgment.

"I want that the lawyer help me to change the reference of my case from the laws used by humans to the laws of the holy book," he told the court at his previous appearance earlier this month.

Tuesday marked the first appearance since Esseghaier's arrest in April that he did not take an opportunity to decry the Criminal Code. He spoke only to say he understood what Shaikh said. Esseghaier has been able to secure legal aid.

Both Esseghaier and Jaser have received their first wave of disclosure and a second set is coming, Shaikh told the court.

The men were arrested in April and face several terrorism-related charges in what police allege was a plot guided by al-Qaida in Iran to attack a Via train that runs between Toronto and New York City.

Police stressed at the time of the arrests that there was no imminent threat to the public.

Jaser is represented by John Norris and Brydie Bethell. Norris has denied the allegations against his client.

Esseghaier, a PhD student doing doctoral research on nanosensors, is facing five charges, including instructing someone to carry out an activity for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Both he and Jaser are charged with conspiracy to murder for the benefit of a terrorist group, participating in a terrorist group and conspiring to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group. Esseghaier faces an additional count of participating in a terrorist group.

If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

A third man named Ahmed Abassi is facing terrorism charges in the U.S. and prosecutors allege he had "radicalized" Esseghaier.

American authorities also say Abassi did not support the alleged Via Rail plot and was pushing for a different plan that would contaminate the air or water with bacteria and kill up to 100,000 people.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google