Anti-Terror Law On Trial

Posted on Thursday, July 06 at 08:55 by jensonj
Following the arrest of the 17 men, the public future jurors included was bombarded with a steady stream of information from security, police and government sources about why the arrests were made. Targets were identified, a police sting surrounding the ordering of a large quantity of fertilizer, allegedly for bomb making, was revealed. The image of a prime minister targeted for beheading joined thousands of words of accusations leveled at the defendants. The phrase "homegrown terrorists" was firmly inserted into the Canadian popular vocabulary. At the same time, the physical evidence presented to the media was a little less titillating. One Canadian Press photo showed a blue Ikea shopping bag filled with orange, red, blue, black and yellow flash lights, cheap walkie-talkies, something that looked like the grill top to a portable barbeque and that quintessential Canadian item a roll of duct tape. It looked more like the results of a teenager's Canadian Tire shopping spree than terror paraphernalia. In the world of show and tell, the government case looks like it could be, well, a little uneven. But the real world of show and tell is, of course, the presentation of evidence and argument at the actual hearings and trial. This is, after all, a criminal proceeding. The government's propaganda assault on the defendants which received massive media attention should at least be balanced (or sustained) by thorough court reporting. The second reason: Canadians need to see what is going on inside this case because there is more on trial than the 17 accused. The Anti-Terroism Act itself, which is the legal platform for the Brampton case, has never had its own day in court. http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2006/july/5/edit/ [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on July 6, 2006]

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