Montreal

RCMP will probe leak against alleged Mtl terrorist

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day indicated he has confidence in any RCMP investigation into the leak of information about a man suspected of terrorism.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day indicated he has confidence in any RCMP investigation into the leak of information about a man suspected of terrorism.

"When the RCMP says they are investigating a file, then that is exactly what they would be doing and we'll await the results of that investigation," Day said Wednesday, declining to be more specific.

The RCMP would not immediately comment on the news an investigation has begun into the leak of classified documents on Adil Charkaoui to Montreal newspaper La Presse.

Recent published reports citing CSIS documents claimed Charkaoui was involved in a plot to fly a plane into a foreign target, something he has denied.

The Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui said Charkaoui's lawyer had received a letter last Friday informing her of the investigation.

The coalition has released a statement praising the federal government's decision to proceed with an RCMP inquiry into the leak as well as an administrative inquiry.

An assessment of the impact on court proceedings will also take place, the group said.

Charkaoui, who was detained for 21 months under a federal security certificate until his release in 2005, continues to maintain his innocence.

Mary Foster, a spokeswoman for the coalition backing the Moroccan-born Charkaoui, is adamant the leak didn't happen by accident.

"We want to know who leaked it, who confirmed the authenticity of the secret document and why. At the same time, this is not the first time that dirty tricks have been played. That is why we are now calling for a public inquiry into the actions of CSIS in Charkaoui's file," she said on Wednesday.

Charkaoui and the coalition are both calling for a public inquiry into the actions by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in the case, and want Day to review and withdraw the security certificate issued against the Morrocan-born Montrealer.

Denies talking of plots

The leak came as Charkaoui prepares for his second hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada, on the grounds that CSIS destroyed evidence in his file. The hearing is scheduled for January 2008.

The newspaper report quoted a CSIS report as saying Charkaoui was involved in a terrorist plot in 2000 and had discussed it with another man who has links with Islamic groups in Montreal.

Charkaoui has acknowledged he knew the man but insists they never talked of plots.

Charkaoui was arrested in Montreal almost four years ago in part on the strength of accusations against him by Montrealer Ahmed Ressam, a convicted terrorist arrested in a terror plot in 1999.

Ressam has since recanted his accusations against Charkaoui,saying he was under a great deal of psychological pressure after his conviction and that his statements can't be taken seriously.