Fund-raising appeal – Legal Costs

0

February 27, 2013 by admin

Mohammad with his lawyer Johanne Doyon

Dear friends and allies,

As you know, Mohammad Mahjoub is one of three Muslim men who are currently targetted by an immigration security certificate in Canada.

Mr. Mahjoub came to Canada as a refugee from the Mubarak regime in Egypt; he was granted refugee status in 1996. He was arrested under a security certificate in June 2000. Never charged, he was imprisoned for a total of eight years, including years in solitary confinement, placed under house arrest for another four and a half years and currently remains under intrusive conditions of surveillance and control.

Download fundraising letter final here.

The security certificate process was declared unconstitional by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 2007 Charkaoui ruling. A new certificate was issued against Mr. Mahjoub in February 2008 under this new process and he was forced to begin the process all over again. The Federal Court has not yet ruled on the ‘reasonability’ of the new certificate against him.

In the context of these new security certificate proceedings, Mr. Mahjoub was subject to an unprecedented violation of his rights. The present fund-raising initiative is aimed at obtaining a permanent stay of the unfair proceedings against him in light of this unprecedented violation.

An Unprecedented Violation

On July 15, 2011, Department of Justice staff entered Mohammad Mahjoub’s locked break-out room in the Federal Court in Toronto, seized dozens of boxes of Mr. Mahjoub’s solicitor-client privileged court preparation materials and transferred the materials to the Department of Justice offices. There they proceeded to sort the documents, mingle them with their own, and copy them inside and outside the Department of Justice without taking any security measures. The materials were left in an unlocked room at the Department of Justice until the situation was discovered by Mr. Mahjoub’s lawyers at the end of the summer recess, on September 1, 2011.

While this unprecedented violation of solicitor-client privilege was qualified as an abuse of process by the Court, the motion for a permanent stay of the proceedings was not granted. Instead, the Court only ordered 11 government lawyers off the Mahjoub file.

Mr. Mahjoub and his legal team continue to believe that, because fairness has been irreparably damaged by this incident, the only appropriate remedy is a permanent stay of proceedings. Mr. Mahjoub was thus forced to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Need to Fundraise

Years of stigmatization, wrongful labelling and false accusations as well as suffering in prison and under house arrest have left Mr. Mahjoub without income or resources. In September 2012, however, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) reversed an earlier decision and informed Mr. Mahjoub they would not continue to pay for the Appeal ‘at this time’.

Mr. Mahjoub was stranded in the appeal process, with deadlines to meet and documents to file, but no money to do so. Mr. Mahjoub’s lawyers were forced to apply to the Federal Court. The Federal Court then ordered him to show that he had been making efforts to fundraise to support his appeal: “[38] … Mr. Mahjoub will supply the Court with information concerning his efforts to fundraise or to locate pro bono or reduced-rate counsel … ” (Mahjoub v Minister of Immigration and Citizenship and Minister of Public Safety and the Attorney General of Canada, [2012] FCA A-313-12, par. 38)

Costs

Mr. Mahjoub needs financial support to pay the cost of the appeal and to pay his legal team if a lawyer is not found to take the case pro bono. The ‘appeal book’ alone – which must be filed for the appeal – costs $13,000.

We are writing to ask you to make a donation to help ensure this appeal goes forward. Cheques can be made out to “Yavar Hameed in trust” and sent to 43 Florence St. Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W6. Please include ‘for FCA appeal – stolen materials’ in the memo line. In case of dismissal of the Appeal, the money will be used for an application to the Supreme Court of Canada.

We have included a fact-sheet on Mr. Mahjoub’s struggle to free himself from a security certificate, and a brief on the other abuses that have taken place in his case.

In solidarity,
Justice for Mahjoub Network


0 comments

Sorry, comments are closed.