[R-G] Toronto Terror trial may be tainted: Lawyer (Duh!)
nick at faunusherbs.com
Mon Jun 12 09:42:31 MDT 2006
Toronto Star Jun. 12, 2006. 10:43 AM
The lawyer representing one of 17 people accused of being terrorists has
launched a blistering attack on the "oppressive, isolation conditions" in
which the men are being held.
Before a hearing began at the Brampton courthouse Monday morning for the 17
arrested earlier this month, Rocco Galati said the oppressive conditions
being in a room with a light on 24 hours a day;
being denied leaving this room for the first five days for even 30 seconds;
being given only five minutes to eat their meals - otherwise their meals are
taken away from them;
not being allowed to speak to anyone, including the guards;
being forced to keep their eyes on the floor at all times.
Galati, who represents Ahmed Mustafa Ghany, 21, of Mississauga, added that
when the arrested men, including five who are charged as youths, are
escorted or walked from Point A to Point B, "they must walk at a 90-degree
angle with their legs upright and their torso across at a 90-degree angle
with handcuffs stretched out. And they are being escorted by three armed
tactical members of the security forces."
Galati also accused the authorities of unfairly leaking selected information
to the media "to ensure the denial of a fair bail hearing and the denial of
a fair trial," he said.
No bail hearing will be held Monday.
The first bail hearing, that of an accused man who is charged as a youth, is
set for Friday and is expected to last the entire day.
The bail hearing of Shareef Abdul Haleen, 30, of Mississauga, is set for
Monday morning's hearing is expected to deal with administrative matters
such as setting dates for bail hearings for the other accused men.
Two lawyers gave notice at the last hearing that they may have to bring a
formal application under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the
effect that their clients' right to meet with counsel privately has not been
honoured by the authorities.
Today is the third court hearing for the accused men.
The previous two hearings were held in a tiny courtroom that could barely
accommodate the family members of the accused men and the mass of reporters,
including foreign media organizations such as CNN.
For Monday, a larger courtroom has been made available.
Galati also complained he had observed "some things that have happened in
this process that are unheard of in a criminal trial."
Galati's list of unprecedented occurrences included:
notice and a police debriefing of the investigation given to politicians and
select members of the media before the arrests happened;
details of the allegations made public at a press conference before the
accused were brought to court while lawyers and the court were kept waiting;
the addresses of the accused were published, which Galati said was unheard
of in a criminal proceeding.
what he called a military show of force at the courthouse on June 3 for the
Galati also charged that police and politicians declared the guilt of the
accused in public statements and that "self-proclaimed leaders of the Muslim
community in a desperate attempt to 'distance themselves from the accused'
have declared them guilty as well.
"All these actions by the police and politicians are completely unheard of
in a real criminal case," Galati said. "A general statement that one often
hears from politicians is that 'we cannot comment while the matter is before
"That rule has gone out the window in this case," Galati said.
Galati fears that the trial process has been tainted but did not outline any
ways at present that the situation can be corrected.
Jun. 12, 2006. 10:43 AM
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