Montreal

Stranded in Sudan, Abdelrazik expected back in Canada Saturday

Abousfian Abdelrazik's six-year ordeal will soon end, as his lawyer was to board a flight in Ottawa Wednesday to bring the Montreal man, stranded in Sudan, home.
Abousfian Abdelrazik at the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. ((CBC))

Abousfian Abdelrazik's six-year ordeal will soon end, as his lawyer was to board a flight in Ottawa Wednesday to bring the Montreal man, stranded in Sudan, home.

Abdelrazik, who has taken refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum for the past year, was expected to arrive at Toronto's Pearson airport at 4:45 p.m. ET on Saturday.

There are still concerns for Abdelrazik's safety, said his lawyer, Yavar Hameed at a press conference Wednesday in Ottawa.

"We are concerned, given recent information about American interests in detaining him as recently as 2006. I just learnt as well this morning that a U.S. official has asked questions of Mr. Abdelrazik in the embassy today."

An official from Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs will also accompany both of them on the journey back, Hameed said.

Lawyer Yavar Hameed speaks at a press conference Wednesday in Ottawa. ((CBC))

It's "a good day for Canada that we finally will be repatriating one of our citizens. Sadly, it took too long," said NDP MP and foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar at the press conference.

"For those of us who have been working on this file, it is a day … we thought we'd never see."

Abdelrazik was arrested and detained while visiting his mother in Sudan in 2003. Sudanese authorities eventually released him without charge.

But he was caught in a legal limbo after the Canadian government refused to renew his passport, because he remains on a United Nations list of blacklisted terror suspects.

On Tuesday, the UN published its reasons for including Abdelrazik, 47, on that list. It accuses him of training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and attempting to join Muslims fighting Russians in Chechnya. The allegations mirror similar charges posted on the U.S. Treasury Board website three years ago.

However, the RCMP and the CSIS spy agency have dismissed the allegations against him, and last week, the Conservative government said it would comply with a federal court order to let him return to Canada.

Earlier this month, the court had ruled that Abdelrazik's charter rights — which allow Canadian citizens freedom to enter and leave the country — had been breached.

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