France returns convict to Canada

Fateh Kamel, an Algerian-Canadian convicted in France in 2001 for planning acts of terrorism, returns to Montreal.

Deputy Conservative leader Peter MacKay is pushing for an investigation into an Algerian-Canadian who spent four years in a French prison for his involvement in the Armed Islamic Group, a terror network.

Fateh Kamel, 44, arrived in Montreal on Jan. 29 aboard an Air France flight, the CBC has confirmed.

France convicted him in 2001 of "participating in a criminal association for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism" and supplying fraudulent passports to militants.

Kamel, who has a wife and son in Canada, was sentenced to eight years, but was released early for good behaviour.

Prosecutors in France said he was also part of an extremist cell in Montreal, along with Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian now in U.S. custody for trying to transport explosives into Washington state in late 1999.

MacKay told CBC Newsworld there are grounds to investigate Kamel's original application to live in Canada to determine whether he was being truthful about his past.

"We have a duty to our citizens to make sure we investigate all threats to security ... and if there is such evidence, he should be returned to Algeria."

MacKay said Canada has, in the past, revoked the citizenship of people who have lied about their criminal pasts.

Julius Grey, a prominent Montreal civil rights and constitutional lawyer, believes Kamel has served his time and should now live in peace.

CSIS spokesperson, Barbara Campion, says the Canadian government is trying to strike the right balance between public security and the rights of citizens to live in peace.

Anne McLellan, the federal minister of public security, says Kamel is a Canadian citizen and it's his right to return to Canada.