Canada court sentences and releases first of 'Toronto 18' convicted for terrorism link

[JURIST] The first person convicted under Canada's post-9/11 terrorism law [JURIST report] was sentenced Friday to 36 months in prison, and released by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [official website] in consideration of the time he has already served in prison since his arrest in 2006. The yet-unnamed man will be on three-year probation and placed under a ten-year weapon ownership ban, and will have to submit a DNA sample. He was convicted in September 2008 of participating in the activities of the so-called "Toronto 18" [Toronto Star backgrounder; advocacy website] which allegedly planned a series of violent attacks on civilians, public officials, and government buildings. The media cannot name the man until one month after the sentencing when he has had the chance to appeal his conviction in order to preserve jurors from potential prejudice, as determined by a January 3-2 decision [JURIST report] by the Ontario Court of Appeal finding that the Canadian criminal statute [text] allowing defendants to request a media blackout is applicable in this instance because he was still a minor when arrested in 2006.

The 21-year-old's conviction was the first under Section 83 [Department of Justice Canada backgrounder] of the Anti-Terrorism Act [text], passed in late 2001. The law allows the Canadian federal government, subject to judicial approval, to arrest and jail citizens to prevent terrorism. Although little information was released about the minors arrested among the Toronto 18, the charges eventually laid against the 12 adult males included participating in a terrorist group, receiving training from a terrorist group, training terrorists, and importing weapons and ammunition for terrorism.

 

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