Artist sketches of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, are shown.Two men found guilty of terrorism charges after being accused of plotting to derail a passenger train are asking Ontario’s highest court to grant them a new trial, arguing the jury that convicted them was improperly selected. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tammy Hoy, John Mantha

Error in Via Rail terror case doesn’t warrant new trial, Crown tells Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is scheduled to review the appeal court’s decision in a hearing this afternoon

Federal lawyers are telling the Supreme Court of Canada it would be a miscarriage of justice to grant a new trial to two men accused of plotting to crash a Via Rail train.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were found guilty in 2015 of terror-related charges arising mainly from an alleged al-Qaida-inspired scheme to derail a passenger train travelling between the United States and Canada.

Both men appealed their convictions, with counsel for Jaser and a court-appointed lawyer for Esseghaier arguing the jury at the trial was improperly constituted.

In August last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a fresh trial for the men on grounds the jury was indeed chosen incorrectly.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to review the appeal court’s decision in a hearing this afternoon.

In a written submission to the court, the Crown argues the convictions should not be overturned on the basis of a highly technical error in the jury selection process that did not cause any prejudice to fair trial rights.

READ MORE: Crown seeks Supreme Court of Canada hearing in railway terror case

The Canadian Press


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