POLITICS

Lawyer says CSIS documents may point to entrapment in case of alleged terrorists

06/22/2015 05:13 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - Canada's spy agency should hand over information that could shed light on whether a British Columbia man found guilty of terrorism was the victim of police manipulation, a court has heard.

Lawyer Marilyn Sandford said she wants the B.C. Supreme Court to order disclosure of all correspondence between the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Mounties related to the investigation of her client John Nuttall and his wife Amanda Korody.

Nuttall and Korody were found guilty three weeks ago of planning to set off pressure-cooker bombs on the grounds of the B.C. legislature in 2013.

Their lawyers are scheduled to begin arguments next week that the couple was entrapped and that police manipulated them into carrying out their Canada Day bomb plot.

Sandford told the court on Tuesday that it appeared that CSIS had information on Nuttall and Korody's case beyond what the RCMP has so far released.

She pointed to the possible involvement of another individual in the case who may have acted as a source for a CSIS investigation, which Sandford argued would be "of extreme relevance to the issue of entrapment."

"We require disclosure concerning (the individual) in order to investigate his potential role, if he was a human source, as an agent provocateur who encouraged Mr. Nuttall to commit violent acts," Sandford told the court.

She referenced wire intercepts disclosed in the earlier trial, which, she said, strongly indicate "that that's what he was doing in the name of Islamic jihadist extremism."

The court heard that documents disclosed by the Mounties consist of little more than a single line from CSIS advising police that Nuttall may be a national security threat.

"We have the RCMP saying, 'there's nothing here,'" said Sandford. "Well, there seems to be a lot more here than what meets the eye."

Crown lawyer Peter Eccles opposed the application, insisting that CSIS has no obligation to share information with anyone and that any information would be irrelevant to the defence's case.

The RCMP can ask for information and the spy agency is fully entitled to tell the Mounties "to pound sand," Eccles told the court.

He also pointed out that the question of entrapment relates to the conduct of the RCMP and not CSIS.

"They had no idea about the CSIS information," said Eccles. "So how can the presence or absence of CSIS material have an impact on the RCMP's (conduct)?"

He accused the defence of embarking on a fishing expedition, calling its "broad, sweeping request" for information from CSIS as "a pure shot in the dark."

Besides its correspondence with the RCMP, defence is asking for disclosure from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for all surveillance information related to Nuttall and Korody collected between Jan. 1, 2011 and July 1, 2013, when the pair was arrested.

A trial, set to begin next week, will examine if Nuttall and Korody were entrapped by police into attempting their bomb plot.

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