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Cablegate: Toronto Terror Trials: More Charges Dismissed, 11 Remain In

VZCZCXRO0011
OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0114 1071923
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161923Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2446
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC

UNCLAS TORONTO 000114

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PINR PHUM CA
SUBJECT: Toronto Terror Trials: More Charges Dismissed, 11 Remain in
the Dock

Ref: (A) Toronto 85 (B) 2007 Toronto 440

Sensitive but Unclassified-Please Protect Accordingly

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On April 15 Canadian government prosecutors
stayed terrorism-related charges against four more suspects in the
2006 "Toronto 18" terror plots. The move reduces the number of
suspects facing charges to 11 (charges against three minors were
stayed earlier). Consulate law enforcement contacts suggest that
the decision may be an attempt to focus charges only on those
individuals who appear to be most directly involved in the summer
2006 plots, and away from more tangential figures. Crown
prosecutors have been cautious throughout, perhaps reflecting a
desire that the first prosecutions under strengthened Canadian
anti-terror laws produce no surprises or embarrassment. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On April 15, Canadian federal ("Crown") prosecutors stayed
charges against three of the accused, Abdul Qayyum Jamal, Ibrahim
Aboud, and Ahmad Ghany. The three Toronto area residents signed a
peace bond with strict bail conditions on their activities and
travel, which if abided by, will lead to the final dismissal of all
charges in 12 months. A fourth accused member of the group (Abdi
Mohammed, who was in jail on weapons charges at the time of the
initial wave of arrests in 2006) also had his charges stayed, but
was not required to sign a bond. The decision to stay charges
against Jamal was surprising, as he had been previously described as
a ringleader and terrorist recruiter, and had spent 13 months in
solitary confinement. Crown prosecutors offered no explanation for
the move, indicating simply that their decision to proceed in this
manner best served the public interest.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Despite media crowing that the decision is highly
damaging to the Crown, the decision to effectively drop charges
against four individuals does not necessarily call into question the
integrity of the remaining proceedings. When they feel the evidence
warrants it, prosecutors have not been reluctant to take the cases
to trial, as in the ongoing trial of one of the accused (Ref (A))
and in the decision in the fall of 2007 to terminate preliminary
proceedings and move directly to trial on all remaining cases (Ref
(B)). The Crown appears to be drawing a distinction between
individuals who attended what prosecutors describe as a "terrorist
training camp" in rural Ontario in the winter of 2005 and those who
were allegedly more directly involved in the plot to purchase
explosive material and attack Canadian landmarks in Ottawa and
Toronto. END COMMENT.

NAY

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