Sayfildin Tahir Sharif is seen in this court released photograph. Sayfildin Tahir Sharif is an Iraqi-born Canadian. The Edmonton man is wanted in the United States on terrorism-related charges.
Credits: Court released photograph
EDMONTON -- A man wanted in the U.S. on charges of helping a terrorist network kill five American soldiers in Iraq says there is not enough evidence to warrant extradition.
Defence lawyer Bob Aloneissi argued Tuesday that the evidence heard during an extradition hearing for Sayfildin Tahir-Sharif -- also known as Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa -- does not support the U.S. charges of conspiracy to commit murder and aiding a terrorist network.
"What did he do, specifically?" asked Aloneissi in his final submission to Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain. "Where did he sign on to kill American soldiers in Iraq? What is the evidence and where is it?"
Aloneissi disputed the federal Crown's theory that Tahir-Sharif was an insider within the alleged terrorist network and argued the evidence shows he was "in the dark."
Aloneissi questioned whether there even was a terrorist network and, if there was one, was Tahir-Sharif a member. He also said there was no evidence of him agreeing to kill anybody, providing materials to the terrorist support network or being in league with any of the members.
"At the end of the day, the evidence is left wanting."
In reply, federal prosecutor Moiz Rahman argued there was actual evidence from intercepted Internet messages showing Tahir-Sharif was helping the terrorist network.
"Nobody is suggesting Mr. Isa was the brains behind the operation. He was a member of the network," said Rahman, adding that, while some evidence is required to order a committal of extradition, it does not have to be at the level needed to prove the actual allegations at trial.
On Monday, Rahman argued the evidence heard at the hearing shows Tahir-Sharif was "deeply embedded in a terrorist facilitation network" and he assisted the network when asked and counselled and preached for it.
Germain is slated to make a decision on Friday.
The judge earlier ruled that videotaped statements made by Tahir-Sharif during interviews with RCMP and U.S. authorities were given voluntarily and would be admitted as evidence during the extradition hearing. He also ruled there were no breaches of Tahir-Sharif's Charter rights.
Tahir-Sharif, 40, was arrested at a north-side Edmonton apartment on Jan. 19, 2011, after a year-long investigation involving the FBI. He faces murder and conspiracy charges in the U.S. relating to the deaths of five American soldiers in a 2009 suicide bombing in Iraq.
In lengthy police interviews, Tahir-Sharif was grilled about his discussions with the alleged jihadists, his having counselled a Moroccan girl to become a suicide bomber and his offering to be a sniper for the cause.
The final decision on whether or not Tahir-Sharif will be extradited is up to the federal Minister of Justice.