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.

"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."

massive police sweep

  • The accused were among 14 adults and four youths netted in a massive police sweep during 2006 for allegedly belonging to an al Qaeda-inspired cell. Three of the teens have had charges against them stayed while the adults are awaiting trial.

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