The Ontarian who was sentenced to life imprisonment of conspiracy to derail a passenger train between Toronto and New York wishes to appeal the verdict.
In a notice filed in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Raed Jaser’s lawyer says he even wants to hold a new trial, or at least a reduced sentence for his client. He believes that the trial judge committed several errors of law in the eight-week trial – including refusing a separate trial for the two accused, and for ignoring the mental health of the other co-accused.
Jaser and his co-accused of Tunisian origin Chiheb Esseghaier doctoral student at UQAM, were convicted in March of several terrorism-related charges. In September, they were sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of release before 2023 – they were arrested in 2013. The Justice Michael Code then explained that the two men had not renounced their extremist views or recognize their wrongs and that their chances of rehabilitation remained uncertain.
In his notice of appeal, Jaser also contends that his sentence of life imprisonment is “excessive, harsh and inappropriate” – at the end of the trial, his lawyer had recommended five and a half.
It also argues that the judge should have accepted the Code to order the hospitalization of Chiheb Esseghaier under the Mental Health Act. Moreover, the refusal of the judge to inquire into the Esseghaier fitness to stand trial “constitutes a denial of justice.”
Chiheb Esseghaier very devout Muslim, had asked to be tried according to the precepts of the Koran; he even refused to be represented by counsel at trial. His mental health has been mentioned that at the hearings on sentencing. Two psychiatric evaluations have concluded that while suffering from schizophrenia – although one of these psychiatrists is estimated qu’Esseghaier was still able to know his sentence.
A lawyer appointed ex officio by the court to attend Esseghaier then asked the judge to postpone the sentencing, the time to determine if Esseghaier could instead be hospitalized and cared for, but the magistrate refused, saying it does There was no “causal link” between the current mental state of the accused and his behavior at the time of the crimes.
Jaser’s lawyer also argues that the judge should have accepted to exclude the wiretap evidence, which constituted the bulk of the Crown brief. Are the two co-defendants were heard discussing terrorist plots with an infiltration of the US federal police agent. He also believes that the judge should have considered the Code of defense called “entrapment” at the sentencing of Jaser, a Canadian permanent resident of Palestinian origin, who lived in the suburbs of Toronto.