Federal court upholds Harkat’s detention

OTTAWA — A Federal Court judge has upheld the use of a security certificate against Mohamed Harkat, who has been held in jail in Ottawa for more than two years after being accused of being a terrorist.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the Algerian-born man is a member of al-Qaeda who trained in Afghanistan, then entered Canada as a sleeper agent. Mohamed Harkat has been jailed for more than two years under a security certificate.

On Tuesday, Federal Court Justice Eleanor Dawson ruled that the grounds for the certificate are reasonable, opening the way to Harkat’s deportation to Algeria. She rejected Harkat’s constitutional argument that security certificates – which let authorities arrest and hold people they suspect of posing a threat to national security – violate fundamental justice.

CBC news report, 22 March 2005