The Federal Court of Canada has ruled the search of a suspected terrorist’s home violated his constitutional rights and ordered the Canada Border Services Agency to return everything it seized.
In a 24-page decision released Tuesday, Justice Simon Noel says the May 12 raid violated the Charter rights of Mohamed Harkat. He also ordered the agency to destroy any copies it made of the seized information.
“The breach of Mr. Harkat’s Charter rights was significant,” Noel wrote.
“While the CBSA may not have acted in bad faith, they acted with disregard for the terms of the former order and the requirements of Section 8 of the Charter.
“This court cannot condone the type of intrusive search undertaken by the CBSA. Mr. Harkat may have a diminished expectation of privacy [because he was out on bail], but that does not give the state a ‘carte blanche’ to unreasonably intrude on what privacy is left to him.”
Read more from the Canadian Press.
(Photo: Mohamed Harkat (l) with his “public counsel”, Mathew Webber. Cristin Schmitz for The Lawyers Weekly)