For immediate release
BRAMPTON, Ontario – September 24, 2007 – The federal Crown today announced the filing of direct indictments against 14 adult accused persons charged with terrorism offences.
Brian J. Saunders, as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions and Deputy Attorney General of Canada, today preferred a direct indictment in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Brampton, Ontario, against 14 adult accused persons charged with terrorism offences.
Of the 14 adult accused, 13 were arrested in June, 2006 and one was arrested in August, 2006. Twelve have been detained in custody since their arrests and two were released by consent of the Crown. Related court proceedings have continued since the arrests. A preliminary inquiry into the charges began June 4, 2007 and has continued since that date.
Mr. Saunders determined that it was required in the public interest to prefer indictments, ending the preliminary inquiry and proceeding directly to trial at this time. The decision is in accordance with the policy guiding the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
A publication ban continues to apply to evidence presented in this case.
Direct indictments fall under Section 577 of the Criminal Code, which outlines how the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General may send a case directly to trial without a preliminary inquiry or after an accused has been discharged at a preliminary inquiry.
Direct indictments recognize the ultimate constitutional responsibility of the Attorney General to ensure that those who ought to be brought to trial are brought to trial. There are many reasons why an Attorney General or a Deputy Attorney General might consider a direct indictment in the interests of the proper administration of criminal justice.
The controlling factor in all instances is whether the public interest requires a departure from the usual procedure of indictment following an order to stand trial made at a preliminary inquiry.
The public interest may require a direct indictment in circumstances which include (but are not restricted to) the following:
The circumstances in a case for which a direct indictment is recommended must meet the charge approval standard - namely, that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction at trial, and the public interest requires a prosecution to be pursued.
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