Thursday, September 25, 2008

So, I Guess We Can All Go Back to Sleep ...

... now that there's been a Guilty verdict in Toronto terror trial.

In his 94-page ruling (on the trial of a now 20-year old defendant 'who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act'), Justice John Sproat characterised the Crown's evidence of the defendant's participation in a 'wider terrorist group' as "overwhelming." He therefore found the young defendant, a Hindu convert to Islam, guilty of "participating in a terrorist activity."

As the Globe's Colin Freeze notes: "The verdict may serve as a bellwether for future terrorism trials. The accused is the only member of the alleged conspiracy at hand, or any other plot as defined under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act, to have gotten to this point."

While police have long complained about the absense of concrete case law hampering their anti-terrorism efforts, protesters under the sobriquet Presumption of Innocence Project complained that this case amounted to little more than guilt by association.

On reflection, that's a curious complaint. His associates (at least those whose cases have not already been dismissed, staid or jettisoned) have yet to be found guilty of anything at all. But now there is actual case law that applies here, and therefore there is precedent. If anything, those whose cases are pending might need to worry now about the presumed guilt stemming from their association with the hapless young dupe who was convicted today.

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