A young Canadian who is regarded as a terrorist suspect last week fired his lawyer and denounced Canada’s justice system. Today, he ended his protest and agreed with his lawyer, Mitchell Chernovsky, he made a mistake when he refused to recognize the authority of the court and had his bail revoked. The suspect is 20 and his name can not be revealed since he was arrested while under age. Last Tuesday, the young man was told by Justice John Sproat, “as a judge, it’s not my practice to pass judgment on religious practice or principle, but I would also urge you to get whatever advice you can in that regard.” The suspect had converted to the Muslim religion as a teenager. He was one of four a rrested in June, 2006 during a massive sweep.
The boy’s trial is important because it is the first major terrorism case since the Criminal Code was revised after 9/11. His lawyer notes that seven of 18 terrorist suspects arrested have been released due to lack of evidence and believes the same holds true for his client. The boy attended a 12 day camp near Washago, Ontario, where police argue the group prepared themselves for armed jihad. His lawyer says the boy went to a camp and did the normal things boys do at a camp.
There has been no trial and so far no evidence has been offered by police to prove the boy was guilty of something termed “terrorism.” Up to this point, the main issue is what happened at a camp. We live in unusual times when what takes place at a camp can be construed as connected to terrorism.