Train plot suspect rejects Canadian law, cites "holy book"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:22pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - One of two men accused in an alleged al Qaeda-backed plan to derail a passenger train in Canada appeared in court on Wednesday and disputed the authority of Canadian law to judge him, saying the criminal code was not a holy book.

Chiheb Esseghaier, a Tunisian-born doctoral student, faces charges that include conspiracy to murder and working with a terrorist group.

He and another suspect, Raed Jaser, are charged with plotting to derail a passenger train, and U.S. security sources say they sought to attack at a bridge near the U.S.-Canada border.

In a brief hearing where he was ordered back into custody, Esseghaier, 30, said the allegations against him are based on laws that are unreliable because they are not the work of God.

"All of these conclusions was taken out based on (the) criminal code," he told a Toronto court. "The criminal code is not (a) holy book."

He added: "Only the Creator is perfect."

Esseghaier and Jaser were arrested on Monday in separate raids after a joint Canada-U.S. investigation that started last year, based on a tip from a member of the Muslim community.

Jaser was remanded into custody on Tuesday. His lawyer, John Norris, said he denies the charges against him and will fight them vigorously.   Continued...

 
An artist's sketch shows Chiheb Esseghaier making his first court appearance, in Montreal, April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Atalante