POLITICS

Ashton Larmond, Carlos Larmond, Appear In Ottawa Court On Terrorism-Related Charges

01/10/2015 12:49 EST | Updated 03/12/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The lawyer for Ottawa twin brothers charged with terrorism-related offences says he plans to vehemently dispute the charges against them, after the pair appeared in Ottawa court on Saturday via video link.

An RCMP statement issued Friday alleges the 24-year-olds, Ashton Carleton Larmond and Carlos Larmond, were planning to leave Canada to engage in terrorist activities abroad.

The Mounties charged Ashton Larmond with facilitating terrorist activity, participation in the activity of a terrorist group and instructing to carry out activity for a terrorist group.

Carlos Larmond faces charges of participation in the activity of a terrorist group and attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity abroad.

"My clients intend to vigorously defend these charges," Ottawa lawyer Joseph Addelman told The Canadian Press on Saturday.

"This is going to be a case that will determine the Canadian system's value of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, as these will be core issues at the trial."

The RCMP say the arrests were made on Friday — Ashton Larmond was arrested in Ottawa while Carlos Larmond was arrested at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport.

Addelman says the next court appearance for the brothers is set for Feb. 12 in Ottawa.

In Paris, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the arrests were not connected to this week's terror attacks in the French capital.

”The arrests yesterday are part of ongoing investigations that have been going for a while in Canada,” Blaney told reporters after he laid a wreath at the officers of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, where a dozen people were killed.

”They are not linked in itself by exact link but they are part of this extremist ideology and in that way they are related but not necessarily in the same cell or groups.”

Blaney will represent Canada at a unity rally and march that will be held in Paris on Sunday.

The minister said he met with the CSIS head of mission in Paris, will meet Sunday with his French counterpart and that Canada is also working with its other partners.

"We are working at an increased partnership in fighting against terrorists and more specifically foreign fighters," he said.