Quebec Judge Rules against “Islamophobia Defence” in Terrorism Case
The RCMP arrested two individuals on terrorism charges on 14 April 2015. Sabrine Djaermane and El Mahdi Jamali were arrested as the police believed they had the components necessary to build a pressure cooker bomb and wanted to carry out an attack in Canada. They were awaiting a message from possible ISIS related persons to carry out an attack.
Following their arrest, the defence lawyers involved attempted to have a publication ban placed on the information that they are willing to carry out an attack on behalf of ISIS. The general thrust of the defence case was that Islamophobia was so rampant in Quebec that this information would preclude them from a fair trial. Never before in the history of criminal law in Quebec has a search warrant executed during an arrest been subject to a publication ban.
Media organizations in Quebec fought the ruling and eventually persevered.
What is truly interesting, however, is that the expert advice offered to the court to support the suppression of information based on the “Islamophobia Defence” was incredibly weak. Most of the expert’s report was based on information provided by organizations believed to have direct ties to extremism.
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