Parole Board’s authority to revoke a pardon challenged in Federal Court.

TORONTO — Revoking a criminal pardon solely on the basis that RCMP have accused a man of plotting to attack a passenger train is unfair and a violation of his right to remain silent, Federal Court heard Monday.

This was the argument put forth in court by Jaser’s lawyer who I have exchanged emails with, in the past. Although I am certainly not a Federal Court judge if you believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty it’s hard to disagree with the position.

The Parole Board argued that it is not bound by the constitution on this matter. I am confident that it is and that the judge will uphold Jaser’s right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. I have written previously on a similar matter.

How the Parole Board Treats the Presumption of Innocence

Jaser was accused of plotting to derail a via passenger train in a terrorist attack and almost immediately the Parole Board revoked the pardon. To many of us who have been paying close attention to the criminal justice system – ever since the Conservatives took over – this just felt like more politicking from the government that loves to shout tough from the rooftop.

Of course it is difficult to know where the Harper administration ends and independent tribunals (like the Parole Board of Canada) begin. But one way or another it’s clear that the Board is populated with many people who would take a tough on crime position similar to the one championed by the Conservative government.

Stay tuned for the verdict. I will be posting it here. With luck Jaser will have his Canadian pardon reinstated until a proper review can be made AFTER his trial.

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