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Terrorism offence case for Kingston, Ont., youth heading towards guilty plea: defence

The defence lawyer for the youth facing terrorism charges in Kingston says they are currently working towards a guilty plea.
The defence lawyer for the youth facing terrorism charges in Kingston says they are currently working towards a guilty plea. Dominic Owens

Following a court appearance in Belleville, Ont., on Monday, it looks like the Kingston teen charged with terrorism offences will be seeking a guilty plea.

The case, which was originally being held in Kingston, Ont., had recently moved to Belleville, since the Quinte Courthouse had more rooms available and more security measures.

READ MORE: Kingston youth accused of terrorist activities released after bail hearing

On Monday, following pre-trial motions that took place in the judge’s chambers, Justice Stephen Hunter announced the case would be deferred to Feb. 5 for an anticipated guilty plea.

The youth, who cannot be identified per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was initially charged with knowingly facilitating terrorist activity and counselling someone to use an explosive or other lethal device to cause death or serious bodily injury.

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This was following RCMP raids in Kingston in January, 2019.

He was later charged with allegedly possessing explosive materials and for taking action to cause an explosion.

The teen was also facing an uttering threat charge for an incident that allegedly took place during his bail hearing in March of last year, but those charges were dropped in September.

READ MORE: Uttering threats charge dropped for teen terrorism suspect in Kingston

On Wednesday, one of the youth’s lawyers, Simon Borys, confirmed that that a guilty plea “is the direction this case is headed.”

Nevertheless, Borys says he there is much to be done before an agreement from both sides on what, exactly, that plea will be.

Although there were talks of a preliminary hearing, Borys says no such hearing is scheduled, since he believes both sides will be working towards a plea bargain.

However, Borys said they and the Crown are currently in the process of creating an agreed statement of facts, something that may take time and possibly push the process past the Feb. 5 date.

Youth charged with terrorism in connection to Kingston raids: RCMP
Youth charged with terrorism in connection to Kingston raids: RCMP

The federal Crown counsel, Luc Boucher, had originally asked that the youth be sentenced as an adult. With the offences the youth is facing, a maximum sentence is life in prison.

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If the case does not go to trial, Borys said it’s possible that the teen will face only the maximum youth sentence, which is capped at three years.

Boucher said he had no comment when asked the Crown’s position on a potential guilty plea, and what may come of it.