Ontario's appeal court ramps up sentences for convicted terrorists

Terrorism "must be dealt with in the severest of terms"

The Ontario Court of Appeal, the highest court in the province, has restored Canada’s anti-terror law to full strength, signaling that terrorists acting on Canadian soil “will pay a very heavy price” and that Canada should not be viewed as an attractive place from which to pursue terror-related activities. The appeal court released six major decisions in terrorism cases today. The leading judgment related to the case of Ottawa software engineer Momin Khawaja, the first person convicted under Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation. The court dismissed his appeal and increased his sentence from 10.5 years to life in prison. The court also said the Ontario trial judge presiding at Khawaja’s case in 2006 erred in striking down portions of the Criminal Code’s anti-terrorism provision after concluding the legislation could inhibit fundamentalist Muslims from expressing their political or religious beliefs. As well, the court upheld—and, in two instances, increased—prison terms handed to three members of the Toronto 18. Terrorism, Justices David Doherty, Michael Moldaver and Eleanore Kronk said in their decision, “is a crime like no other.” “Once detected, it must be dealt with in the severest of terms.”

Toronto Star

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