02/26/2015 04:51 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Lawyers square off over terror case evidence as Peshdary awaits bail hearing

OTTAWA - Lawyers on opposing sides of a high-profile terrorism case are sparring over the disclosure of evidence.

Crown prosecutor Rod Sonley told an Ontario court Thursday it will take "many, many months" to release all of the evidence in the Awso Peshdary file to the defence.

Peshdary faces four charges, including participation in the activities of a terrorist group. He plans to plead not guilty.

Two other Ottawa men — accused of joining extremists overseas — were also charged with terror-related offences, even though their whereabouts are unknown and one may have already been killed in combat.

Wearing orange coveralls, Peshdary, 25, made a brief video appearance during the proceedings Thursday but no date for a bail hearing was set.

Counsel for Peshdary indicated the delay was due to the lack of documentation on the case from the Crown.

Sonley, however, said Peshdary's lawyers are not entitled to full disclosure of the evidence before a bail hearing.

"You will receive disclosure as it becomes available," he said during the proceedings.

A lot of material was gathered in the two-year criminal probe, Sonley said afterwards. "So in a large, complex investigation it's not unusual to have disclosure take a fairly significant period of time to be processed, in order to be released to the accused."

Richard Morris, Peshdary's lawyer, said in an interview that some issues need to be resolved.

"It's clear that Mr. Sonley and I have a fundamental difference with respect to his obligations, and we'll sort those out in court in due course," Morris said.

Another hearing is set for next week.

The RCMP says Peshdary's two co-accused, John Maguire, 24, and Khadar Khalib, 23, are active members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

The extremist organization's members have been swarming across large sections of Syria and Iraq, committing atrocities.

The Mounties say Peshdary was an associate of Maguire and once hoped to travel overseas with him. They believe Peshdary stayed in contact with Maguire, and together they allegedly hatched a conspiracy to send other Canadians to Syria to join ISIL.

Peshdary and Maguire were involved with Khalib, who travelled to Syria at the end of March 2014 to join ISIL, the Mounties add.

Sonley said Thursday he had no update on Maguire or Khalib.

"I don't have that information, and I'm unlikely to be receiving that information unless they're arrested."

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