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Canada police commissioner resigns after botched testimony in Arar case

[JURIST] Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli [official profile] resigned Wednesday after admitting that he gave incorrect testimony to a Canadian House of Commons [official website] committee about the Maher Arar [advocacy website; CBC timeline; JURIST news archive] case. Arar is a Canadian citizen who, on suspicion of ties to al Qaeda, was deported from the US to Syria in 2002 and tortured there. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] said he received a resignation letter from Zaccardelli [Harper statement], who said his admission to the botched testimony created a "new controversy" for which he needed to take responsibility.

During his testimony Tuesday, Zaccardelli said he misspoke in earlier testimony to a parliamentary committee investigating the Arar case on September 28. He admitted that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) [official website, English version] provided incorrect information [JURIST report] on Arar but stressed that the RCMP contacted US officials to correct the errors before Arar was deported to Syria. Zaccardelli told the committee Tuesday that the RCMP did not try to correct the erroneous information while Arar was still in the US, and he admitted that he did not know about the case until 2006. Zaccardelli's resignation is effective December 15. CBC News has more.

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