Pair ordered extradited over alleged Tamil ties
Two men who have been ordered extradited to the U.S. to face terrorism-related charges have been granted bail pending an appeal to Canada's top court.
Suresh Sriskandarajah and Piratheepan Nadarajah are both wanted in the United States to stand trial on unrelated charges they provided assistance to the Tamil Tigers.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed their appeals last month but released a decision Thursday granting them bail pending their applications for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Appeal Court says both men have already been on bail for about four years without incident and there is no evidence they have the will or the means to flee.
The Crown, in opposing bail, suggested that since their appeal options are almost at an end, the men are more likely to try to avoid the possible 20- or 25-year sentences they are facing.
But the court says they have faced those sentences from the beginning, always surrender into custody when required and their sureties will continue to pledge bail.
Nadarajah is out on $735,000 bail and Sriskandarajah is out on $445,000 bail.
The court said that while the crimes alleged against the men are "very serious" and in the view of the panel of Appeal Court judges the cases against them are strong, they are still presumed innocent.
It's alleged that Sriskandarajah acquired aviation equipment, submarine and warship design software and other communications equipment for members of the Tamil Tigers.
Sriskandarajah, an accomplished student with several degrees from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, both in Waterloo, Ont., is also alleged to have laundered money for the group and to have counselled members on how to smuggle goods.
The Tigers waged a bloody civil war for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka for 26 years before their defeat by the government in 2009.
Sriskandarajah came to Canada from northern Sri Lanka as a boy and has said he only wanted to help young people there after the devastation of the war.
He was arrested in 2006 after a joint FBI-RCMP investigation portrayed him as the leader of four suspected terrorist supporters.
It's alleged that Nadarajah, together with three others, tried to buy surface-to-air missiles and AK-47s on behalf of the Tamil Tigers from an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a black-market arms dealer.