June 15, 2014 12:25 pm

Stripping criminal pardon from alleged terrorist was constitutional: feds

Chiheb Esseghaier is led off a plane by RCMP officers at Buttonville Airport on April 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

OTTAWA – The federal government argues that parole officials did not trample on the rights of an accused terrorist by revoking his criminal pardon based on the unproven charges he faces.

In newly filed court documents, federal lawyer say there was “no abuse of process” when the Parole Board of Canada moved last year to pull Raed Jaser’s pardon for various convictions after he was charged with plotting to derail a Via passenger train.

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Jaser, 36, is asking the Federal Court of Canada to reverse the parole board’s decision, saying officials made a “perverse and capricious” finding that he was no longer of good character due to the new terrorism charges.

He is also challenging the constitutionality of a section of the Criminal Records Act that officials used to revoke his pardon.

Jaser, a Toronto resident, and Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal face terrorism-related charges for allegedly plotting to derail a Via passenger train.

Arrested in April last year, the accused plotters were said to be targeting a train that travels from New York City to Ontario, operated by U.S. rail service Amtrak south of the border and Via Rail in Canada.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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