2 men found guilty in Via Rail terror plot asking for new trial, argue jury improperly selected

Two men found guilty of terrorism charges after being accused of plotting to derail a passenger train are asking Ontario’s highest court to grant them a new trial, arguing the jury that convicted them was improperly selected.

Lawyers for Raed Jaser argue the judge who oversaw the case made several errors, including in rejecting their client’s request as to the method of jury selection.

Jaser’s co-accused, Chiheb Esseghaier, continues to be self-represented but a lawyer appointed to assist him through the legal process agrees the jury was not properly constituted and says a new trial must be ordered for both men.

READ MORE: Two suspects, two paths in Canada, one alleged terror plot

Though Jaser has raised several other grounds of appeal, the court has said it will first weigh the issue of jury selection before considering the others. The challenge is expected to be heard in a Toronto court on Tuesday.

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Jaser and Esseghaier were found guilty in 2015 on a total of eight terror-related charges between them. They were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until 2023.

The Toronto judge who presided over their trial found both men had not renounced their extremists beliefs, nor had they accepted responsibility for their offences.

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