Canada says will let "terror suspect" return

Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:48pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will comply with a court order compelling it to allow the return of an alleged terror suspect who has spent the last six years in Sudan, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said on Thursday.

A Federal Court judge ruled on June 4 that Ottawa had to arrange the return of Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian man currently taking refuge in the country's embassy in Sudan.

The Conservative government has until now refused offer assistance or issue a passport to Abdelrazik, who is on a United Nations no-fly list that names him as an associate of al-Qaeda.

"The government will comply with the court order," Nicholson told Parliament, but gave no details.

The Federal Court judge had ruled that Canada's actions breached the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says no citizen can be deprived of the right to life, liberty and security.

Abdelrazik, who was born in Sudan and then came to Canada as a refugee, gained citizenship in 1995. He has three Canadian-born children.

He was arrested after returning to Sudan in 2003 and released in 2004, before being rearrested in 2005. He was freed in 2006 and has been living in the Canadian embassy since late April 2008.

The ruling was the second time in three months that the court had dealt a blow to the Conservative government's security policies. In April, another judge ordered Ottawa to press Washington for the release of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who has been held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since October 2002.

The government, which says Khadr was charged with a very serious crime, is appealing the ruling.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)