Politics

Ottawa reviews release conditions for accused terrorist Harkat

The federal government says it will allow an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties to have a mobile phone, but balks at the idea of giving Mohamed Harkat access to the internet or removing his electronic tracking bracelet.
The federal government says it will allow Mohamed Harkat, an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties, to have a mobile phone but balks at the idea of giving Harkat access to the Internet or removing his electronic tracking bracelet. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

The federal government says it will allow an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties to have a mobile phone, but balks at the idea of giving Mohamed Harkat access to the internet or removing his electronic tracking bracelet.

In documents filed with the Federal Court, the government says it is also open to dropping a requirement that Harkat get prior approval before travelling out of town.

The concessions would ease current release conditions for Harkat, but fall short of the full list of freedoms he will seek Tuesday during a one-day Federal Court hearing.

It has been more than a decade since Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, was arrested under a national security certificate on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent — an accusation he denies.

He has essentially been living under house arrest with stringent conditions for seven years.

Harkat, 44, lives at home in Ottawa with wife Sophie, but wears an electronic GPS bracelet on his ankle, cannot leave the capital area without permission and is denied access to a mobile phone or a computer with internet connectivity.

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