Ontario man charged with trying to join a terror group denies allegations:lawyer

Ontario man with terror charge innocent:lawyer

TORONTO — The lawyer for a man accused of leaving Canada to join Islamic State militants said Thursday that her client wasn’t involved in any such plan and intends to fight the charge in court.

Rishma Gupta said Pamir Hakimzadah, 27, is stunned by the allegations against him.

“He’s OK, he’s kind of shocked by these charges, he’s upset,” Gupta said outside a Toronto courtroom where her client appeared briefly. “They’re serious charges.”

Hakimzadah had his case adjourned to April 26, when he will appear by video link.

RCMP said they began investigating in January 2016 after hearing allegations that Hakimzadah had travelled to Turkey during the fall of 2014 to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

They said Hakimzadah was returned to Canada after being detained by Turkish authorities. He was charged Wednesday afternoon with leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.

Gupta said she learned of the terror investigation last summer after signing on to represent Hakimzadah in an unrelated assault case.

She denied her client was “involved in something like that.”

“We’re in a culture where anybody could be charged with terrorism â€” it is a serious count,” she said. “The police were investigating this since Jan. 1, 2016. They didn’t lay this charge until just yesterday and that, to me, is something that’s suspect.”

RCMP said Hakimzadah’s arrest was part of an extensive national security criminal investigation named Project Sachet. The agency said there was never any risk to public safety at any time during the investigation.

Court records show Hakimzadah was arrested last July and charged with assault, assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats to cause bodily harm in connection with an incident or incidents that took place between July 1 and Aug. 31 of 2015.

That case is still before the courts and Gupta said her client was in custody on those charges when the new terror charge was laid.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Island-filmed TV series gets third season

Crews returning to Parksville Qualicum Beach to film in the spring

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

Sutherland steps down as SOS executive director

From receptionist to executive director

Views in The NEWS, Jan. 16

We asked: What is a necessity for you on a camping trip?

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Corfield Street work continues in Parksville

Delays, alternating traffic can be expected

Highway maintenance to cause delays in Whiskey Creek

Alberni Highway motorists face lane closures morning of Jan. 18

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

Most Read