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Canada judge rules security service may not monitor terror suspects' calls to lawyers

[JURIST] A Canadian Federal Court [official website] judge ruled Thursday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) [official website] must stop monitoring phone calls between terrorism suspects and their lawyers and must erase any such calls that it accidentally records. Judge Carolyn Layden-Stevenson [official profile] on Thursday morning released a two-page summary of testimony given during a secret hearing Wednesday that revealed that CSIS had been monitoring conversations between suspects and their lawyers. Layden-Stevenson issued an order later Tuesday putting a stop to the practice. A CSIS lawyer said that CSIS would comply with the order [Globe and Mail report] and would stop listening to future conversations between lawyers and clients as soon as the nature of the conversation became apparent.

The issue arose in the case of Mohammad Mahjoub, an Egyptian detainee suspected of ties to al Qaeda who had been held since 2000. Mahjoub was released on bail [CBC report] in April 2007. Leading up to his release, he agreed to have his phone calls monitored so authorities could ensure he was not a threat to national security, but his lawyers did not realize that phone calls between them and their client would be intercepted.

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