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Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were sentenced to life in prison for a failed train attack in 2012 in Ontario.

Raed Jaser had a fair trial, according to the Crown.

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Raed Jaser argues in his appeal that he was denied an impartial trial because of religious fanaticism and poor mental health of his accomplice, Chiheb Esseghaier.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean -Philippe Nadeau

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In Toronto, the Crown argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal that terrorist Raed Jaser had a fair, if imperfect, trial and that it would have been unnecessary to try him without his accomplice in 2015. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were sentenced to life in prison for their failed attack on a VIA Rail train in 2012 in the Toronto area.

Raed Jaser's defense claims that his client's trial was unfair and unfair and that the judge's decision to hold only one trial at the time was detrimental to him. She therefore requests that the guilty verdict and sentence be overturned on appeal.

Conspiracy against VIA Rail: Raed Jaser says on appeal that he should have have a trial alone

The highly publicized trial showed that Chiheb Esseghaier was the mastermind behind the plot, which consisted of sabotaging a bridge in order to derail a train in Scarborough and kill as many passengers as possible.

The two men, however, were caught conspiring during their conversations, recorded without their knowledge by wiretapping by an FBI mole who had posed as a wealthy Muslim American businessman who shared their jihadist ideals.

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Attempting to derail a train in the name of Al-Qaeda, Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser wanted to force Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

In this appeal, the Crown argues that Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier absolutely had to be tried together because they faced the same charges of terrorist conspiracy.

A conspiracy is always prepared with at least two individuals, recalls prosecutor Ian Bell.

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Me Bell explains that at the time of the trial, the Crown had solid reasons to judge them together and that the behavior of Chiheb Esseghaier did not cause any harm to his accomplice.

They shared the same points of view on the subject of Islamic jihad, he continues.

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After 10 days of deliberations, Chiheb Esseghaier (left) and Raed Jaser (center) were found guilty of attempting to carry out an attack on a VIA Rail passenger train in 2012 in Ontario.

Chiheb Esseghaier, who is schizophrenic, did not participate in his trial because he had requested to be tried according to Sharia law. He never stopped interrupting the pleadings with his religious sermons.

He argued that he could not have been there in 2015 [the year of the trial, Editor's note] since he had died in an accident plane the year before and that he had a premonition of it when he was younger.

Raed Jaser's defense had requested that the trial be held separately, but the trial judge rejected his request.

She then submitted to him, but in vain, a request to have the trial annulled for procedural defects.

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From left to right: Chiheb Esseghaier, Raed Jaser, John Norris (Jaser's lawyer), Judge Michael Code as well as Sarah Shaikh and Croft Michaelson (the Crown attorneys) during the trial in 2015.

However, prosecutor Ian Bell asserts that the trial magistrate made no error of law in rejecting the defense's two motions and that he was able to control Chiheb Esseghaier's erratic behavior.

The trial did not get out of hand, he assures, rejecting the defense argument of the Torontonian of Palestinian origin in this call.

Mr. Bell adds that Esseghaier made inflammatory comments or behaved inappropriately during pre-trial hearings and jury selection, which proves that the judge managed to control it well in the presence of the jury.

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New scandal from Chiheb Esseghaier as he address to the court without permission during his sentencing hearing in July 2015.

The prosecutor recalls on this subject that the candidate juror who had ordered Esseghaier by swearing to return to the dock when he began to pray on his knees had been thanked for her services.

Me Bell thus suggests that the composition of the jury was therefore done carefully, according to him, to avoid any prejudice to Raed Jaser.

He recalls that Chiheb Esseghaier was only sent back to his cell in the basement of the court once during the trial because of his turbulent behavior.

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Chiheb Esseghaier spat on the friend of the court who was questioning a witness during the terrorist's sentencing hearing.

The x27;impact that Chiheb Esseghaier's conduct had on his accomplice was therefore minimal, according to him.

Raed Jaser therefore had a fair and equitable trial, although imperfect, and the refusal of his accomplice to participate in the trial in no way undermined his defense, he recognizes.

The prosecutor adds that the judge advised the jury not to unduly blame Raed Jaser for the conduct of his accomplice in the courtroom before he began its deliberations.

He recalls that Chiheb Esseghaier was also fit to stand trial and that his mental state only worsened after the trial in the absence of the jury at the sentencing hearings. .

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Chiheb Esseghaier getting off the plane at the old Buttonville airport, northeast of Toronto, after his arrest in Montreal by the RCMP.

At the time, in June 2015, after three months of trial, the trial judge finally ordered a psychiatric evaluation of the Montrealer of Tunisian origin.

Nothing proves, however, that he was not fit to stand trial, he said, citing a report on the subject.

Mr. Bell also adds that there was no doubt at the time that Chiheb Esseghaier knew very well that he was undergoing trial and that a motion to have the mistrial was therefore incongruous.

The prosecutor finally emphasizes that it was in the public interest to hold only one trial for the two individuals because organizing two trials would have required a lot of time and resources.

He recalls that a duplication would have extended the deadlines and that one of the two accused would have had to wait even longer in preventive detention the end of the trial of his alleged accomplice before undergoing his own.

The three judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal placed the case under advisement until an indefinite date.

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