The trial of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, convicted of conspiring to derail a VIA Rail train, was fair, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
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The highest court in the country took up this case after the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn the convictions of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser and to order a new trial. The Ontario judges had then accepted an “error of law” during the selection of jurors.
Last October, the Supreme Court had already indicated that there would be no new trial, but the reasons for the decision were made public on Friday.
“There was no infringement of the right to a fair trial conducted by an independent and impartial jury, no prejudice was caused, and no significant wrong or serious miscarriage of justice was committed,” it read. in judgment.
As a reminder, the two men were convicted in 2015 of terrorism offenses in connection with a series of conspiracies to kill people.
Raed Jaser was a resident of Toronto at the time. Chiheb Esseghaier was studying in Montreal at the doctoral level.
They had been sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole 10 years after the date of their arrest. They appealed their conviction, which led to the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, concluding that the jury members had not been chosen properly.
The Crown appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which explained its judgment on Friday, arguing in particular that it is possible to remedy errors made during the selection of the jury.
“The law demands not perfect justice, but fundamentally fair justice. This is what they got ”, we can read in the judgment.
The judges therefore unanimously restored the convictions against the two men, while allowing them to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal, but for other reasons.