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Public inquiry to be held into Arar case

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Its about time, it will be interesting to see what the Canadian officials did, or didnt know about his situation.

Hopefully something good will come from this.

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OTTAWA - A full public inquiry has been called into why a Canadian citizen was deported by U.S. officials to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a year.

Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan announced on Wednesday that Justice Dennis O'Connor would head the inquiry into the Maher Arar case.

McLellan said O'Connor would have all the powers allowed under the Public Inquiries Act, including the ability to call witnesses and compel testimony.

O'Connor recently led the inquiry into the tainted water tragedy in Walkerton, Ont.

"I am very pleased that he has agreed to accept this task," said McLellan.

Prime Minister Paul Martin has offered to have opposition party leaders who have seats in Parliament sworn into the Privy Council, so they can see even the classified sections of the inquiry, McLellan said.

"It's important to remember why we're here. It's about a man called Maher Arar. It's about his deportation and detention and it is about … the actions of Canadian officials, if any, in relation to those events," said McLellan.

McLellan said O'Connor would also "be asked to make recommendations on an independent, arm's-length review mechanism for the RCMP's activities with respect to national security."


Anne McLellan

Arar has been asking for a public inquiry since he returned to Montreal in October.

He says he was tortured while he was held in a Syrian jail.

The inquiry is expected to find out what role Canadian security agencies played in his deportation and detention.


JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Share your thoughts on this story

Conservative justice critic Vic Toews said the government had been pressured into calling the inquiry, but noted "It's also the right thing to do."

Toews told CBC Newsworld that he was concerned that the scope of the inquiry wouldn't be broad enough.

"Is it going to look at the relationship between the government and the RCMP?" he said. "We need to have the RCMP at arm's length to the government."

Arar was arrested in September 2002 while switching planes in New York when he was returning to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia. After holding him for nearly two weeks, U.S. officials deported him to Syria where he was born, despite the fact he was travelling on a Canadian passport.

U.S. authorities said they had reason to suspect Arar was linked to al-Qaeda. There have been allegations that they were acting in part on information that came from Canada.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien refused to call a public inquiry, but the Security Intelligence Review Committee announced in December it would investigate the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's role in the case.

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is looking into the Mounties' role.

The prime minister has said the United States has to respect Canadian passports.

Earlier this month, Arar launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government, alleging the Americans sent him to Syria knowing he would be tortured there.



Written by CBC News Online staff
 

dicksherwood

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by gasper
Wurd. This should have happened from the get-go.

Here come the lies.

Not even the lies, just the stuff the commission won't be able to review because it's "not in its' mandate"

like where the information that lead to Arar's arrest came from.
 

dicksherwood

TRIBE Member
well, that was anti-climactic

CBC quoted Harper today saying that this travesty occured under the previous government

hahaha then the world at 6 played tape of "long past his" Day saying in Parliament circa 2002 that Bill Graham should not be assisting a known al-qaeda operative and how the Americans knew about extremists in our country that we didn't. Meanwhile the Libs were defending Arar's rights to counsel and Graham was in Syria.

It was a lead story on ABC news (which I swear I never watch) that said Colin Powell had heavily influenced the initial investigation and that both US and Canadian law enforcement had been over-zealous. The Judge's report said that Arar had been noticed in the first place because he had a conversation with another unfortunate soul being watched, he was immediately labelled a co-conspirator, his wife was flagged, it just goes on and on...

Are people still surprised about this?

I hope he sues everybody.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
I love how any two governing parties' accountability and behaviour is mutually exclusive.

LOVE. IT.
 
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Lurker

TRIBE Member
Isn't Syria branded as a bad guy by the US?

Dumb question: Why would they send Arar to Syria for interrogation? Other than to beat the shit out of him.
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
IMO, the bigger story remains the conduct of the national embarassment that is the RCMP. Hot on the heels of the Ian Bush murder, and the ruining of Greg Sorbara's career, we now have conformation of their role in this case. What will it take for a major housecleaning at the RCMP or, at the very least, a public admission regarding the disgusting manner in which they have so frequently conducted themselves in so many cases. What would it take for Commissioner Zaccardelli to resign? What would it take for a government official to demand that resignation?
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Lurker said:
Isn't Syria branded as a bad guy by the US?

Dumb question: Why would they send Arar to Syria for interrogation? Other than to beat the shit out of him.

Arar was born in Syria. Despite his Canadian citizenship and passport, the U.S. elected to send him to Syria in order to have certain information extracted from him through the process known as "rendition," otherwise known as: getting someone else to do your dirty work so you can continue to claim clean hands.
 

saskboy

TRIBE Member
Vincent Vega said:
IMO, the bigger story remains the conduct of the national embarassment that is the RCMP. Hot on the heels of the Ian Bush murder, and the ruining of Greg Sorbara's career, we now have conformation of their role in this case. What will it take for a major housecleaning at the RCMP or, at the very least, a public admission regarding the disgusting manner in which they have so frequently conducted themselves in so many cases. What would it take for Commissioner Zaccardelli to resign? What would it take for a government official to demand that resignation?

seconded

they have been slipping of late
 

Lurker

TRIBE Member
Vincent Vega said:
Arar was born in Syria. Despite his Canadian citizenship and passport, the U.S. elected to send him to Syria in order to have certain information extracted from him through the process known as "rendition," otherwise known as: getting someone else to do your dirty work so you can continue to claim clean hands.

Exactly.

But, why would you have Syrians interrogate a suspected terrorist when you also accuse Syria of harboring terrorists and stirring shit with Israel & Lebannon?

If someone like Arar actually coughed up some info, wouldn't the Syrians then have first access to it? Or were the CIA guys just beating the shit out of him in the plane while it was parked on the ramp?

The whole concept of rendition is disgusting. And now our government and national police force has been shown to have played a part.
 
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