Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

ISIS bride loses citizenship appeal

Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria from Britain as a teenager in 2015 to join the Islamic State in Syria has failed in her latest bid to regain citizenship. A special tribunal dismissed the 23-year-old’s appeal February 22 despite arguments that she was trafficked to be a child bride, but her case is still subject to further challenges of Britain’s appellate and supreme courts. [node:read-more:link]

ISIS “facilitator” pleads guilty

Ottawa resident Awso Peshdary, who pleaded guilty February 23 to terrorism by facilitating Islamic State recruitment efforts, was sentenced to 14 years less time served, which means he will be released on probation in late 2024. The Crown and Peshdary’s lawyer had agreed to what Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett called a “fit” penalty even though his activities were “horrific.” Peshdary actually thanked the RCMP for arresting him. [node:read-more:link]

Former Mexican minister convicted

Genaro Garcia Luna, a former Security of Public Secretary in Mexico’s cabinet, was found guilty in U.S. federal court in New York February 21 of accepting bribes to protect drug cartels. Hia lawyers, who plan to appeal, say the charges were based on lies from criminals who wanted to punish him and protect themselves by helping prosecutors. [node:read-more:link]

Brit faces extradition to U.S.

A Spanish court has approved the extradition to the U.S. of a British man wanted by California and New York courts to face 14 charges of fraud and extortion, among other things, from hacking the social media accounts of executives, politicians and celebrities. Joseph James O’Connor, who can appeal the ruling which is subject to cabinet approval, was arrested in July 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Attacker’s house sold to support victim

A B.C. Supreme Court judge (Docket No. 2021 BCSC 210) has ordered the sale of a house formerly owned by a man who left a beating victim permanently brain-damaged in 2016. Sentenced to seven years in October 2021, the attacker had “sold” the house to his parents for $1 in an attempt to avoid civil action by the victim’s family who now will receive the proceeds of an eventual sale. [node:read-more:link]

British embassy spy jailed

A London court today sentenced a former guard at the British embassy in Berlin to 13 years in prison for putting diplomats at “maximum risk” by spying for to Russia. David Ballantyne Smith, arrested at his home near Berlin in August 2021 after an MI6 sting operation and extradited a year later, admitting spying but wanted to “teach the embassy a lesson” because he felt badly treated at work. [node:read-more:link]

Faster wrongful conviction reviews

Draft legislation introduced in the House of Commons today as Bill C-40 would make it easier and faster for people who may have been wrongfully convicted to have their cases reviewed by an independent commission. “We need a system that moves more quickly, both for people applying as well as for victims and the process needs to be independent,” said Justice Minister David Lametti. Reviews currently take years to complete. [node:read-more:link]

Killer’s parole eligibility to be shortened

Prosecutors have acknowledged that a New Brunswick man who murdered three RCMP officers in 2014 can apply for parole after serving 25 years, not the 75 years imposed by the trial judge. Justin Bourque’s lawyer applied in December to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal to have the precedent-setting sentence reduced after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law enabling judges to extend parole ineligibility for people convicted of multiple murders. [node:read-more:link]

Iranian expats face U.S. charges

Three Iranian expatriates in Toronto who describe themselves as real estate professionals face what they say are baseless felony charges in the U.S. for allegedly conspiring to circumvent sanctions against Iran. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that his his government is working “very closely with American partners” and the Iranian diaspora, some of whom say the government is doing too little to ensure Canada isn’t a haven for the Iranian regime’s allies. [node:read-more:link]

Russian convicted in U.S. scam

Vladislav Klyushin, the millionaire-owner of a Moscow-based IT company, was convicted in a Massachusett court February 14 of participating in an insider trading scheme using stolen financial information from companies such as Microsoft. Klyushin was arrested in 2021 in Switzerland but four alleged co-conspirators, including a military intelligence officer, remain at large. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP facing Charter suit

Amber Bracken, an Edmonton freelance photographer arrested in B.C. while covering protests against a pipeline project for a national on-line environmental publication in 2021, is suing the RCMP for wrongful detention and violation of her Charter rights. Her Victoria-based client, The Narwal, has joined the lawsuit. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish arrests after earthquakes

The Turkish government has ordered the arrest of more than 100 persons as it investigates the role of sloppy construction of thousands of buildings toppled or heavily damaged in the recent earthquakes. The death toll there and in neighbouring Syria topped 41,000 today as recovery efforts continue. [node:read-more:link]

No trial change for convoy organizer

James Bauder of Calgary, one of the leaders of last winter’s disruptive convoy protest in Ottawa, has lost his bid to have his criminal trial moved out of the city. He argued unsuccessfully in Ontario Superior Court that he wouldn’t get a “fair trial in Ottawa because I participated in a very high-profile, highly politicized, lawful protest directed at the federal government in Ottawa.” [node:read-more:link]

Repatriation ruling challenged

The federal government is appealing a Federal Court order to repatriate four Canadians held by Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria since at least 2019. One was a dual British-Canadian citizen whose British citizenship was revoked on grounds that he had joined ISIS. The Crown presented no evidence of terrorist activities in the earlier trial but says in its appeal that Justice Henry Brown misinterpreted the Charter’s protection of Canadians’ right to freedom of movement. [node:read-more:link]

Sex offender out again after breaching supervision

Convicted after abducting and confining a 3-year-old boy in Sparwood 12 years ago, the sex offender is free again, despite violating his parole board supervision conditions. In November 2022, Randal Hopley had been seen sitting near children attending story time in a local library, however, the judge has now ruled she did not believe he currently poses a risk to the public. [node:read-more:link]


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