Artist drawing of Sayfildin Tahir-Sharif by Jennifer Poburano
Credits: PHOTO SUPPLIED
Judge Adam Germain also said that lawyers for Sayfildin Tahir-Sharif - who is also known as Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa -- had failed to show there had been any breaches of his charter rights.
The extradition hearing resumes this week with both sides arguing whether or not Tahir-Sharif, who is facing charges in New York of helping a terrorist network kill five US soldiers, should be handed over to the Americans.
Tahir-Sharif had earlier argued his rights were violated when police and U.S. authorities denied him his right to adequate legal advice during questioning.
His lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, told court that the RCMP and U.S. agents "completely ignored" Tahir-Sharif, telling them that he had to call his lawyer back and said they were guilty of "mischief" for holding out the possibility of further legal consultation despite never intending to provide it.
"I would term it as an egregious, a serious, breach," said Aloneissi, who also noted his client had problems understanding English and said a translator should have been used so he could have fully understood his jeopardy.
Aloneissi also accused authorities of confronting Tahir-Sharif with his real name as a "veiled threat" and said that, along with talk of a U.S. arrest warrant, was "calculated to instil fear in him" and implied: "You better talk."
Tahir-Sharif had wanted the extradition hearing judge to exclude statements made during the lengthy videotaped interviews. The Crown had argued the statements were made voluntarily and should be admitted as evidence.
Federal prosecutor Moiz Rahman denied that Tahir-Sharif was not given his legal rights, saying the alleged terrorist had spoken to Aloneissi prior to the interviews and police did not have to allow him further consultation unless the circumstances of his arrest had changed.
Rahman told court the evidence was clear that Tahir-Sharif "did understand his legal rights."
He also noted that it was Tahir-Sharif who "did most of the talking" during the roughly 10 hours of interviewing and said he was "anxious" to answer questions.
"You have the opposite of oppression here," Rahman said, pointing out the interviewers treated Tahir-Sharif with respect and courtesy and provided him with food, drink and breaks for using the bathroom and smoking.
Tahir-Sharif, 40, was arrested at a north-side Edmonton apartment on Jan. 19, 2011, after a year-long investigation involving the FBI.
He is wanted on terrorism charges in the US for allegedly helping a terrorist network kill five American soldiers in a 2009 suicide bombing in Iraq.
Court has heard Tahir-Sharif is an ethnic Kurd who was born in Iraq and moved from there to Canada in 1993.
Some of the terrorist allegations that Tahir-Sharif was grilled about include him having phone or Internet discussions regarding some Tunisian jihadists believed to be connected to the deaths of the five U.S. soldiers, his having counselled a Moroccan girl to become a suicide bomber and his offering to be a sniper for the cause.