Trial begins for youth today
For the first time, Canada’s new anti-terrorism legislation will be tested as the trial for a youth charged with belonging to a homegrown terror cell gets underway today in a Brampton court.
The day is expected to begin with an application by the government seeking a limited publication ban on the identities of the adults charged with belonging to the so-called Toronto 18. The identity of the youth is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The ban, the government says, is necessary to ensure the adults receive a fair trial when their case makes it before a jury. But media outlets wanting to cover the landmark case hope to block the move.
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"The whole course of this prosecution has essentially been secret since the arrest and this application threatens to continue that veil of secrecy," said Paul Schabas, a lawyer who will represent several media outlets in a bid to block a ban.
"The Crown is supposed to maintain the integrity of the justice system and one of the foundations of that is that they and everyone involved is subject to public scrutiny."