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Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 07.05 GMT

'Waterloo Suresh' loses legal battle over terrosim charges, faces extradition to US

 

Canada's Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Canada can proceed to extradite two Sri Lanka men to the United States accused of involvement with the LTTE.

In one of two key rulings upholding anti-terror laws, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal by Suresh Sriskandarajah of an extradition order to stand trial in New York.

Sriskandarajah and two other men — Piratheepan Nadarajah of Brampton and Momin Khawaja of Ottawa — challenged the constitutional validity of terrorism laws passed in the wake of 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

But in unanimous rulings written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, seven judges soundly rejected arguments the laws are too broad and improperly infringe on freedom of expression rights.

“The scope of the provision excludes conduct that a reasonable person would not view as capable of materially enhancing the abilities of a terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity,” McLachlin wrote.

Judges also dismissed arguments by Sriskandarajah and Nadarajah that they have a right to be tried in Canada rather than the U.S.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson welcomed the rulings and pledged to remain tough on terrorists.

“Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism,” he said in a statement. “Our government will continue to work with its domestic and international partners to actively combat this threat at home and abroad.”

The decisions mean Sriskandarajah, 32, will be turned over to authorities in New York to face charges of supporting the LTTE.

He is accused of researching and buying communications equipment and submarine and warship design software for the rebel group in the country he left as a boy.

Portrayed as the leader of four suspects with ties to the University of Waterloo, Sriskandarajah also allegedly laundered money and used students to smuggle goods into Sri Lanka under the code name Waterloo Suresh between 2004 and 2006.

Arrested in 2006 following a joint FBI-RCMP investigation, he faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted in the U.S.


Ramanam Mylvaganam, a close friend who once lived with Sriskandarajah in Waterloo, was sentenced to time served earlier this year after giving up his extradition fight and pleading guilty in New York.

Nadarajah, who was also appealing an extradition order, is accused of involvement in an attempt by four Canadians to buy almost $1 million worth of missiles and assault rifles for the Tamil Tigers.

The most high-profile of the three men, Khawaja challenged the constitutional validity of anti-terrorism laws as well as his life sentence in Canada for involvement in a British bomb plot for al-Qaida.




 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: December 16, 2012.

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