Mother Testifies for Detainee
- Charkaoui's mother testifies
Adil Charkaoui's mother says her family's life here and in Morocco
has been devastated since security officials decided her son fit the
profile of a terrorist sleeper agent and jailed him in 2003.
Latifa Radwan told a Federal Court hearing yesterday that Canadian
Security and Intelligence Service analysts wrongly interpreted facts
in her son's file.
"He is not a terrorist. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He is against all
forms of violence," said Radwan, who was among the witnesses called
by Charkaoui's lawyers, who want to ease the stringent conditions
imposed on him since his release from detention three years ago.
As an example of how facts are misread, Radwan said Charkaoui studied
at a private Catholic School in Morocco, and since he was a turbulent
youngster, the nun in charge said he should enroll in martial arts
and swimming classes. He attained the rank of Second Dan in karate
and "all of a sudden that makes him a threat," Radwan said
Charkaoui lives in east-end Montreal under a form of house arrest in
which he is constantly monitored with a Global Positioning System
device, has restricted use of the telephone and Internet, and must be
accompanied everywher e by one of his parents or a close friend,
Oizani said Charkaoui was "a very honest person and definitely not
"He loves this society that has welcomed him, and that is
incompatible with trying to harm this country," he said.
After his release, Charkaoui began teaching high-school French in the
fall of 2006 at a private Muslim school, and according to principal
Layla Saoif, he was dedicated and effective.
But he was let go in November because, although he has a master's
degree, he was unable to obtain a teaching certificate or temporary
permit. The reason cited by the Education Department was "the
situation with the federal government."
"The students are the victims, and they are not happy," Saoif told the
court. She said she also worried that hiring him could compromise the
school's request for provincial grants.
Charkaoui enrolled in the Ph.D. program in education at Université de
Montréal, but this meant his father, who alternates with his mother in
accompanying him to school, had to stop working as a machinist so he
could accompany his son to university. The family is running out of
money, and Radwan said she is ill and can no longer share the burden
of accompanying her son.
She also noted that when she returned to Morocco in 2004 to get a
certificate proving her son had no criminal record there, she ended
up being interrogated by Moroccan secret services.
The hearing continues.
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