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article imageJudge: Ottawa acted in bad faith calling ex-librarian 'terrorist'

By Mike White     Oct 25, 2013 in Politics
Ottawa - A judge ruled the federal government acted in bad faith when labeling former Toronto librarian’s assistant Douglas Gary Freeman a "terrorist"and connecting him to the Black Panther party.
Justice Anne Mactavish, a federal court judge, announced her decision in Ottawa this week, concerning Freeman's application to re-enter Canada. Metro News reported the judge conducted a judicial review of Ottawa's decision last week to block his application to enter the country.
Judge Mactavish wrote that she determined “Mr. Freeman was unfairly treated in this process in several respects.”
The federal government had denied Freeman’s request for re-entry into the country. It claimed that top-secret evidence connected him to the Black Panthers.
The judge dismissed claims that Freeman is a security threat. She wrote that “no meaningful reasons were provided" to make such a determination.
Freeman said in an e-mail that he hopes he can finally see his family in Canada on Christmas this year. The former librarian's assistant is 64.
Freeman last December submitted an outstanding application for a Temporary Residence Permit to spend Christmas with his family.
“That was a year ago, it would be fantastic if … I could come home for this Christmas,” Freeman wrote in an email.
Last week in Toronto, Freeman’s lawyer Barbara Jackman argued the Canadian government withheld evidence. She also claimed Ottawa repeatedly denied requests for disclosure to prove claims Freeman had links to terrorist groups. She also claimed no proof was given that he was ever a member of the now-defunct militant Black Panthers.
According to the article, Freeman changed his name and fled to Canada after wounding Chicago police officer Terrence Knox in the 1970s.
Freeman claimed, however the shooting was in self-defense.
When living in Canada, Freeman had no legal trouble and he raised four children. He was employed at the downtown Toronto Reference Library as a librarian's assistant.
After his story became public, Freeman was extradited to the U.S. and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in February 2008.
He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, to be followed by two years’ probation. He was ordered to give $250,000 to charity.
Last week Jackman argued that documents obtained by Freeman and his family using Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act showed the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service investigated Freeman a total of three times and never found any links to terrorism.
Jackman noted Freeman was never interviewed by a government officer. He said that was because government officials determined in advance he was not connected to terrorism.
Justice Department lawyer Alexis Singer argued that Freeman is not a Canadian citizen and is not entitled to protection under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The attorney also claimed Freeman is not being separated from his wife, children and grandchildren. that is because they could move or travel there.
According to the, Knox suffered permanent injuries to his arm. He died in 2011 after a prolonged illness at the age of 63.
According to the two dozen former library co-workers and family members attended the hearing Wednesday
“The Security Service didn’t find him to be a member of a terrorist organization, and that’s the agency in charge of that kind of investigation,” Jackman commented at the hearing.
She said the Canadian government had tunnel vision in Freeman’s case. she noted , and no government officers interviewed him.
“This is purely bad faith,” Jackman argued. She said the government determined he was a terrorist "from the very outset" and labeled him so, without evidence.
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