03/18/2015 05:01 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT

IRFAN-Canada, Accused Terrorist Group, Should Not Be Given State-Funded Lawyer: Feds

OTTAWA - The federal government argues that an organization formally branded a terrorist entity last year — and prohibited from raising money — should not be given a state-funded lawyer to wage the first phase of its legal fight.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney denied the Canadian branch of the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy permission last November to raise money to fight the listing.

The organization has asked the Federal Court of Canada to set aside Blaney's decision — saying it's unconstitutional — and affirm its right to solicit funds to pay a lawyer.

Meantime, the organization — known as IRFAN-Canada — is asking the court either to provide a state-funded lawyer or advance monies under a special provision for such dilemmas.

Federal lawyers are urging the court to reject that request.

In April 2014, the government added the organization to its list of terrorist entities, saying that between 2005 and 2009 IRFAN-Canada transferred approximately $14.6 million worth of resources to various organizations with links to Hamas.

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