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B.C. judge tosses terror trial verdict, rules RCMP entrapped pair

‘The world has enough terrorists,’ judge says, calling John Nuttall and Amanda Korody ‘foot soldiers’ in RCMP campaign


 

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VANCOUVER — Two people found guilty of terror charges will walk free after a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled they were entrapped by the RCMP in a police-manufactured crime.

Justice Catherine Bruce said police instigated and skillfully engineered the very terrorist acts committed by John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, who believed they were planting pressure-cooker bombs that would blow up at the legislature on Canada Day in 2013.

“The world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalized people,” Bruce said in a landmark ruling Friday.

“The defendants were the foot soldiers but the undercover officer was the leader of the group,” she said.

“Without the police it would have been impossible for the defendants to carry out the pressure-cooker plan.”

Bruce said RCMP officers overstepped their authority during a months-long, undercover sting and their actions were egregious.

“The police decided they had to aggressively engineer and plan for Nuttall and Korody and make them think it was their own,” she said.

“To say they were unsophisticated is generous,” she said, adding there was no imminent threat to the public from a pair who demonstrated they were not intelligent but naive.

A jury found Nuttall and Korody guilty in June 2015 of three terrorism-related charges, but Bruce delayed registering the convictions at the request of defence lawyers, who wanted to argue the Mounties had entrapped their clients.

An entrapment finding means Bruce will issue a stay of proceedings, which throws out the jury’s guilty verdict.

It won’t appear on any criminal record and can’t be used against the couple in the future. Had they been convicted, Nuttall and Korody would have a maximum sentence of life in prison.

A stay of proceedings has the same end result but is different than an acquittal, which is a finding of not guilty.

This is the first time in Canada the legal defence of entrapment has been successfully argued in a terrorism case. Three previous attempts failed.

 


 

B.C. judge tosses terror trial verdict, rules RCMP entrapped pair

  1. The problem with this is that the vast majority of terrorists are, just like this couple, complete idiots. They are failures, easily swayed by talk of others, and ready to blame anyone else for their self-made problems. It’s obvious that most terrorists, would-be or confirmed, are pathetically stupid people. It’s obvious because if they were actually capable and intelligent human beings, the death toll would be orders of magnitude higher. But, thankfully, they’re not; they’re mostly stupid. The problem is, every once in a while, some of them still get lucky.

    So, do we laugh at them, feel sympathy that the people enticing them to violence are the police instead of corrupted Imams? Or, do we just acknowledge that stupid people can, once in a while, be dangerous too? Any fool can download plans for all manner of lethal devices, or just steal a truck. Maybe letting the police bait them before others do is, in fact, making us safer. And, isn’t that the point?

    Yes, I laughed when I first read these would-be terrorist’s biographies. But, if it was an Imam doing the talking rather than the police, and that Imam provided the same support the police did, then I probably wouldn’t be laughing about it. I was at the Legislature that day with my kid.

    • But it wasn’t an Iman it was the police. The police cannot be allowed to start criminal conspiracies and then pounce on the people they recruit. Would we tolerate a bank robbery or a kidnapping planned by the police ? They shouldn’t be allowed to use “agents” or “informers” for this purpose either and should be very careful that informants haven’t created the crimes they intend to profit by exposing. In the US most “terrorist” cases have been entrapment and we should avoid doing that here.

      • Other than laughing at the biographies of these terrorists, I know little of the case specifics. Perhaps the police, in this instance, did cross some ethical line. That said, I do think that we should allow our police to help people that have expressed an interest in committing a terrorist offence to cross the line from talking to doing, even if that smacks of entrapment.

        As people clamour for security, the alternative is to make talking about terrorism a crime in itself, and I think that’s a much bigger problem than properly managing police entrapment. Entrapment is the best solution to this problem.

        I get entrapment can be a bad thing. Offering someone 10 million (fake) dollars to plant a bomb is going to bend a lot of otherwise reasonable people towards a crime. But, offering to provide (fake) explosives, plans, and logistic support is not bending someone towards the crime, it’s just helping an idiot cross the line between expressing and doing. It’s a test of character, separating the talkers from those willing to take action. It’s just helping the idiot along, before someone else does.

        What I was trying to get at in my original comment is that the people most likely to be caught by the police in a terrorist sting operation are, in fact, likely to be idiots and failures. This couple are not some exception to the norm. We should not set some standard of competency that they should be able to commit an act of terrorism without help. We should not feel sympathy for them. So long as they were not coerced or bribed, they chose to cross the line, from talking to doing, and deserve to be treated like terrorists. They are terrorists.

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