Accused in Toronto bomb plot case roughed up in jail, lawyer says
A lawyer representing one of the 11 remaining Toronto bomb plot suspects arrested on terror-related charges in June 2006 says his client has been roughed up in prison.
Michael Moon said his client, Stephen Chand, was taking a shower at Maplehurst provincial jail in Milton west of Toronto. When he tried to rinse soap from his hair, Moon said, a guard smashed Chand's face into a wall, then dragged him naked along a hallway by his hair and threw him into a bare cell smeared with feces and smelling of urine.
The lawyer is demanding that surveillance videos of the incident be released by the Ontario government, though internal investigations at the facility found no wrongdoing by guards.
"These videos capture everything that goes on on the range," Moon said, "If he [Chand] did anything wrong, it will be shown on the video. If what he says is accurate, that will be shown."
Moon also says that when another inmate complained about the treatment of Chand, he too was thrown into the bare cell, known as the hole.
A spokesman for the Ontario government had no comment because the case is before the court. But he added that provincial corrections officials were committed to the just and humane treatment of inmates.
CBC's Margo Kelly said there have been several allegations of verbal and physical abuse from the suspects arrested in a series of police raids in the summer of 2006.
These allegations are emerging as cases against several former suspects collapsed in recent months, Kelly said.
The first trial arising from the case began in March with publication bans on some of the evidence to be presented in court. The Crown has also opted to go directly to trial for some of the suspects, skipping a preliminary hearing.
Lawyers for the 11 remaining accused are making a variety of legal challenges to the charges against their clients. Charges against seven suspects have been stayed, including a man once portrayed as the ringleader of the plot, Qayyum Abdul Jamal. When he was released, he also told journalists he had been beaten in jail.
A series of high-profile police raids in June and July of 2006 netted 17 suspects, whom officials said had trained with automatic weapons and ordered ammonium nitrate fertilizer in quantities large enough to make bombs.