A Podcast Called INTREPID

Discussing and debating Canadian national security law and politics

Ep 57 Crimes and Punishment -- The Foreign Fighter Edition

Craig was joined by Solomon Friedman, a supremely talented criminal defence lawyer who works on, among other things, terrorism cases. Defence lawyers play a vital role in our system of justice — and ultimately in the way we do national security in a democratic society. Join Solomon to understand how it all works. Solomon and Craig walk through the foreign fighter issue, and especially the revelations stemming from Stewart Bell (Global)’s reporting on Canadian detainees in Kurdish custody who have admitted to affiliations (and sometimes more) with the Islamic State (ISIS). Could these people be prosecuted in Canada? What could they be charged with? What evidence could be used against them? Why might CSIS and RCMP be reluctant to interview these people while in Kurdish custody? Should ministers involve themselves in the process, as some opposition politicians seem to want? What would happen if they did? (Hint: nothing good). How would the confessions recorded by Global hold up in court? Should Stewart and Amarnath Amarasingam (the terrorism expert who helped Stewart) expect a knock on the door, seeking their records from this Syrian trip? What about the social media footprint of the foreign fighters — could those things support a conviction? And as a bonus, we also talk about the Vice Admiral Norman case, and the defence’s recent effort to extract Cabinet documents. Short version: this is a game of disclosure chicken, and if the defence wins its application, it could lead to the end of this case if the government refuses more disclosure.