Beginning of the end for Toronto 18 case
The final chapter of the Toronto 18 homegrown terror cell story isscheduled to start today, as the trial for the three remaining membersaccused of belonging to the group gets underway in a Brampton court.
The final chapter of the Toronto 18 homegrown terror cell story is scheduled to start today, as the trial for the three remaining members accused of belonging to the group gets underway in a Brampton court.
Fahim Ahmad, Steven Chand and Asad Ansari have been awaiting trial since June 2006, when they were among 14 adults and four youths charged with belonging to a cell plotting a terror attack on Canada in retaliation for its military involvement in Afghanistan.
Since then, there have been numerous pre-trial motions in this landmark case, which is one of the largest terrorism trials in Canadian history.
Today, the court will begin the arduous task of vetting 1,168 prospective jurors. It’s expected it will take about a week and a half to weed out those who, for various reasons, cannot sit through the trial, which could last up to two months.
Then lawyers will begin to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors with a list of carefully crafted questions, until the 12 jurors are chosen. The selection process could last up to a month.
Only then will the trial begin, with opening arguments and witnesses taking the stand to give evidence in the case of the accused, all of whom are from Scarborough.
Fahim Ahmad, Steven Chand and Asad Ansari are charged with knowingly contributing to, directly or indirectly, a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of the group to carry out an act of terror. Ahmad is also charged with importing firearms for the benefit of a terrorist group, as well as instructing co-accused to act for the benefit of a terrorist group.