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Criminal

Top court sends strong message on terrorism

A ruling from Canada’s top court sends a clear message that terrorists will not find safety in this country, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen


The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld the country's anti-terrorism law, rejecting an appeal from Momin Khawaja, the first person charged under the Anti-terrorism Act, CBC reports.  Read CBC ... Read R. v. Khawaja 

The court also rejected the appeals of two men seeking to avoid extradition to the United States, where they are wanted on charges related to terrorism, the report continues, noting the Supreme Court justices ruled that violent acts are not protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Rosen, senior partner with Rosen Naster LLP, agrees with the court’s decision.

“Others will argue that it was decided solely with political motivation in mind, but all legal judgments have some political motivation,” says Rosen.

“What is clear is that the anti-terrorism legislation, which is aimed at preventing Canada from becoming a haven for international terrorists, is there to protect our society and our citizens.”

Khawaja, a Canadian-born computer programmer arrested in 2004, was convicted in 2008 of financing and facilitating terrorism, and building a remote-control device that could trigger bombs, CBC reports. His initial sentence of 10½ years in prison was increased to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 10 years by the Ontario Court of Appeal in December 2010, the report says.

“With this judgment, the court has affirmed the intent expressed by the Court of Appeal to send out the clear and strong message to the world that terrorists will find no safety in Canada,” says Rosen.

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