Suspected terrorist to remain in custody until May
Jahanzeb Malik sits at Lindsay jail and speaks with immigration via video link on Monday March 16, 2015. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)
A Pakistani man suspected of plotting to blow up the U.S. Consulate in Toronto will remain behind bars until May when his detention review will continue with testimony from the undercover RCMP officer who helped arrest him.
Jahanzeb Malik, 33, who appeared via video link Tuesday at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre on Rexdale Blvd., faces deportation to Pakistan.
Malik, who came to Canada as a student in 2004, was arrested March 9. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has alleged that Malik told an undercover RCMP officer he planned to bomb the U.S. Consulate as well as targets in Toronto’s financial district.
The Immigration and Refugee Board’s Harry Adamidis ruled that Malik will remain in custody because his lawyer, Anser Farooq, had not proposed a “release plan” and that the accused terrorist was a flight risk and posed a danger to the public.
“We still need a release plan ... (and) we do not have a release plan to consider today, so I am ordering your continued detention,” said Adamidis.
He also extended a publication ban covering the identity of the undercover RCMP officer, who is slotted to testify May 11-12.
Outside court, Farooq took issue with Adamidis’ decision to uphold the secrecy of the officer’s identity, insisting it makes his client’s case even more difficult to fight.
Farooq contended that all he currently has to go on are transcripts of the conversations between Malik and the undercover officer, and nothing that speaks to the Mountie’s credibility.
“It’s already hard enough trying to defend somebody at an immigration hearing. Now, (the officer is) going to be here whether or not we’ll be able to establish whether this gentleman has a past, whether he has interviewed individuals (before), how he deals with those people (and) whether he has mistreated individuals,” Farooq said.
The Mississauga lawyer recently said his client is not receiving a proper chance to defend himself in front of the IRB, where the threshold of evidence is lower than in a criminal court.
“They don’t have to produce the kind of disclosure needed during criminal proceedings,” Farooq told the Toronto Sun in March, adding Malik’s life could be in danger if he is sent back to Pakistan.