Canadian accused of al Qaeda ties ends Sudan exile

Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:29am EDT
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By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Canadian citizen accused by the United Nations of being linked to al Qaeda flew out of Sudan Friday after a court order ended his six-year exile in Khartoum, his lawyers said.

Abousfian Abdelrazik, born in Sudan, has spent the past year taking refuge in Canada's embassy in Khartoum, fearing arrest over his suspected links to militants.

Canada's government had until recently refused to offer assistance or issue a passport to Abdelrazik, 46, who is on a U.N. no-fly list naming him as an al Qaeda associate.

But a Canadian Federal Court judge ruled on June 4 that Ottawa had to arrange Abdelrazik's return, a decision seen as a blow to the Canadian government's security policies.

"It will be a huge relief when we get to Canada. I can't rest until that happens," said Abdelrazik's lawyer Yavar Hameed, speaking to Reuters in Khartoum before their plane left.

Hameed said no one had produced evidence to back up the U.N. allegations against Abdelrazik.

Hameed said he had been concerned governments, including Washington, might to try to detain the suspect en route.

"But Canada's department of foreign affairs have indicated to us they have taken all necessary precautions," he said.   Continued...

<p>Canadian alleged terror suspect Abousfian Abdelrazik (R) walks with his lawyer Yavar Hameed at Khartoum airport while leaving for Canada despite efforts by Ottawa to block him from entering the country, June 26, 2009. A Canadian federal court judge this month ordered Ottawa to allow the return of Abdelrazik, who has spent the last six years in Sudan. Abdelrazik, who was born in Sudan and came to Canada as a refugee, gained citizenship in 1995. 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 in Khartoum since late April 2008. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin</p>