Canada marks first terror-law conviction

Prosecution of homegrown Islamic terrorist cell is first verdict under Canada's anti-terror laws


Essentially, Shaikh was more of an active participant and instigator in criminal activities than a fly-on-the-wall informant, Chernovksy said after the verdict.

Shaikh defended his role.

"Stopping something from happening or even protecting the honour of the Muslims, protecting the honour, the integrity of our country . . . I would do it again a thousand times.''

In his ruling, Sproat rejected defence arguments that two camps organized by the alleged ringleaders were simply a religious retreat or recreational in nature.

Sproat noted participants, including the accused, marched, played paintball games, shot a 9-mm handgun, and heard lectures on waging war on the West during a camp north of Toronto in December 2005.

"It is inconceivable to me that by the end of the camp there was any doubt about its purpose,'' the judge said.

KEY EVENTS IN THE CASE OF THE TERRORIST SUSPECTS KNOWN AS THE TORONTO 18:

December 2005

A dozen people attend a 12-day military-style camp north of Toronto, which the Crown alleges was for terrorist training.

May 2006

Group attends a second two-day camp near Guelph.

June 2, 2006

Police carry out a series of raids in the Toronto area and arrest 10 men and five youths. Two other suspects are already jailed in Kingston. One more suspect is arrested in August.

June 6, 2006

A lawyer for an adult suspect says outside court that his client is accused of planning to storm Parliament, behead the prime minister and attack a number of sites.

June 27, 2006

The two youngest suspects -- they were 15 and 17 when arrested -- are denied bail by a justice of the peace.

July 13, 2006

Mubin Shaikh, a prominent member of Toronto's Indo-Canadian Muslim community, reveals he worked as a paid RCMP informant during the investigation.

July 14, 2006

A teen suspect is granted bail, making him the first of the group to be released.

Jan. 16, 2007

Preliminary hearing begins for four youth suspects.

Feb. 23, 2007

Charges are stayed against the youngest suspect.

July 31, 2007

Charges are stayed against two other youth suspects.

Sept. 24, 2007

Federal prosecutors move to stop the adult suspects' preliminary hearing and go straight to trial. Charges are stayed against the accused, then charges are reissued, resulting in five suspects facing additional charges and three each having one charge dropped.

March 25, 2008

Trial begins for suspect who was youth at time of his arrest. He pleads not guilty.

April 15, 2008

Crown asks for stay of proceedings against four of the adult suspects.

Sept. 25, 2008

Judge finds youth suspect, now 20, guilty on a charge of participating in a terrorist activity. He becomes first person to be convicted under anti-terror legislation passed in 2001.

Source: The Canadian Press