Defence challenges CSIS intelligence in security certificate case

The case for deporting an Egyptian man Ottawa considers a national security risk has been undermined by unreliable intelligence, his defence argued on Tuesday.

The case for deporting an Egyptian man Ottawa considers a national security risk has been undermined by unreliable intelligence, his defence argued on Tuesday.

Arguing for Mahmoud Jaballah, detained on a national security certificate for the second time, defence lawyer Barbara Jackman cast a critical light on intelligence from both Egypt and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Jackman said any information against Jaballah obtained from Egypt should not be considered by the Federal Court because the country's intelligence service has been known to use torture in its interrogations.

She also categorized the research by CSIS as "sloppy" and that its officers are "susceptible to tunnel vision."

On Monday, federal prosecutor Donald McIntosh surprised court observers in his closing arguments by asking the judge to consider the fact thatif Jaballahisdeported he could face torture.

Jackman offered her own surprise Tuesday, objecting to that consideration.

"Our position is that you should not do that," Jackman said, citing the fact the judge refused to consider it in a previous ruling.

She said to do so now would be "inherently contradictory."

Arguments continue Wednesday

The defence will continue its closing arguments on Wednesday.

Jaballah, who has been detained for the greater part of the last seven years, appeared via video from the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre.

He was first arrested in 1999 on allegations that he was linked to an Egyptian group called Al Jihad, which CSIS identified as a "terrorist organization."

The accusations were thrown out months later, but he was arrested again in 2001 after CSIS said there was new evidence linking him to the group.

The government has accused Jaballah of fighting alongside Muslim extremists in wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Security certificates allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely without charge, and without making public any evidence against them, which critics contend is in violation of their charter rights to due process.

Jaballah, Hassan Almrei and Mohammed Majoub remain detained under the certificates at the Kingston holding centre. Mohamed Harkat and a fifth man, Adil Charkaoui, have been released under strict conditions.

Harkat, Charkaoui and Almrei have challenged the legality of security certificates all the way to Canada's top court.

In June, lawyers for the federal government argued to the Supreme Court that the certificates were necessary because the importance of national security outweighed the rights of those detained.

A judgment has not yet been issued in the case.

With files from the Canadian Press