Canadian detained in U.A.E. without charge to stand trial on Monday

TORONTO -- A Canadian man detained without charge in the United Arab Emirates for more than a year is expected to finally learn what he's accused of at a trial set to begin on Monday.

See Full Article

Salim Alaradi, a 46-year-old Canadian of Libyan origin, was running a business in Dubai when he was abruptly arrested in August 2014.

His family and lawyers have received no explanation from U.A.E. authorities for his continued detention and there have been allegations he has been tortured behind bars.

Alaradi's trial will be held at the State Security Chamber of the U.A.E. Federal Supreme Court, a venue his Canadian lawyer said suggests he will be charged with terrorism-related offences.

"One way or another it appears that the U.A.E. wants to bring this file to a close," Paul Champ told The Canadian Press. "We were hopeful that the Emiratis were simply going to release Salim but unfortunately they've decided to lay charges."

There are concerns Alaradi may not get a fair trial since he will have no right of appeal and alleged forced confessions may be made admissible, Champ said.

Nonetheless, the legal process is being seen as a significant development in Alaradi's case which had appeared stalled until now.

"He is happy to learn that there are charges because at least it signals that the end of this ordeal may be near," Champ said. "We think that after holding him for so long maybe the U.A.E. authorities felt that they were obliged to charge him with something, but we're hopeful that he will be acquitted of any charges."

Alaradi was born in Libya and immigrated to Canada from the U.A.E. in 1998, settling down in Vancouver with his family. He decided to return to the U.A.E. in 2007 to run a home appliance business with his brother.

He and his family were on vacation when he was arrested.

For two months his family didn't know if he was dead or alive. They then found out he was being held at an Abu Dhabi prison, though they have never been told why.

Their communication with Alaradi has been limited but in one prison visit early on in his detention, Alaradi's wife noticed a burn mark on his hand, prompting fears he had been mistreated.

Amnesty International has noted that Alaradi was among 10 men of Libyan origin detained in the U.A.E. at the same time.

Champ said Alaradi's Libyan roots may have something to do with his detention but noted that the Canadian man was not involved in Libyan affairs.

"We haven't learned of anything that could be remotely held against him," said Champ. "Mr. Alaradi is not political in any way, he's not involved in any groups or associations, he has not spoken out against the government."

Global Affairs Canada said Canadian officials "at very high levels" have raised concerns about Alaradi with U.A.E. authorities.

"The Government of Canada is seized with the seriousness of Mr. Alaradi's case and is engaged in efforts to ensure a prompt and just resolution," said spokeswoman Diana Khaddaj. "Canada takes allegations of mistreatment and torture extremely seriously."

Canadian officials have asked to be allowed to attend Alaradi's trial, Khaddaj added.

The Canadian response to Alaradi's case appears to have improved since the fall of 2015, said Champ.

"Canadian consular officials have assured me that Mr. Alaradi is one of their most important consular files in the world," he said. "They have been visiting or trying to visit him every single week since late September. That is a change."

Alaradi's family, meanwhile, has mixed feelings about the start of his trial.

"I'm afraid that they'll charge him with things my father has never done," Alaradi's daughter Marwa said in an interview. "But I believe that my father's going to speak out ... so I hope it goes well."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trial hears arguments over whether 'child-like' sex doll constitutes child porn

    Canada News CTV News
    WARNING: This story contains subject matter some readers may find offensive ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A forensic psychiatrist says the sex doll at the centre of a trial in Newfoundland had some “breast budding,” but is still "child-like. Source
  • Woman who feared for her life is found dead; police probe launched

    Canada News CTV News
    MONT-SAINT-HILAIRE, Que. - Quebec's bureau for independent investigations into police operations says it will examine the role of a municipal force following the slaying of an 18-year-old woman. Daphne Boudreault died in hospital after her badly beaten body was found in a home Wednesday in Mont-St-Hilaire, southeast of Montreal. Source
  • Africa has worst hunger crisis in 70 years amid budget cuts

    World News CTV News
    JOHANNESBURG -- Africa faces the world's largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, with more than 20 million people facing starvation, a cut in funding to humanitarian agencies working in famine-affected areas will cause untold suffering, a spokesman for the World Food Program said in Johannesburg Thursday, responding to questions about U.S. Source
  • Car tries to ram Antwerp shopping area; security on high alert

    World News Toronto Sun
    BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities have raised security in the port of Antwerp after a car with French license plates drove at high speed through a busy shopping street, forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way. The federal prosecutor’s office said the car was intercepted late Thursday morning at the port docks and a Frenchman living in France was arrested. Source
  • Keystone XL pipeline to get U.S. approval by Monday: report

    World News CBC News
    The Keystone XL pipeline will get the approval of the Trump administration by Monday, according to a published report from Politico. The report, which cites two unnamed sources, said Tom Shannon — who is undersecretary in the State Department — plans to sign a cross-border permit for the pipeline on or before Monday. Source
  • Israel police arrest suspect in threats on U.S. Jewish targets

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israeli police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centres and other institutions in the U.S., marking a potential breakthrough in the case. Source
  • Pennsylvania village being sold for $1.5 million

    World News Toronto Sun
    REDUCTION, Pa. — “The Town That Garbage Built” is up for sale. A family that has owned the Village of Reduction in Pennsylvania for nearly 70 years has decided to divest itself of the 75-acre property. The $1.5 million asking price includes farmland, 19 single-family homes and a 1914 one-room schoolhouse. Source
  • Birth notice: 'Bonnie and Clyde' capybaras are now parents

    Canada News CTV News
    Two capybaras who became celebrities last summer in Toronto when they went on the lam for weeks are now proud parents. High Park Zoo in Toronto’s west end has announced that the rodent couple, dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” for their daring escape last May, are now parents to three “energetic capybabies. Source
  • Andrew Potter resigns McGill post after Maclean's essay on Quebec

    Canada News CBC News
    The director of McGill's Institute for the Study of Canada has resigned from his post after penning an essay in Maclean's that argued "Quebec is an almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society." Andrew Potter has faced widespread criticism for the article, including from Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, who said it painted a "negative portrait" of the province "based on prejudices. Source
  • Belgium raises security in Antwerp after high-speed car drives into crowd

    World News Toronto Sun
    BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities have raised security in the port of Antwerp after a car with French license plates drove at high speed through a busy shopping street, forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way. The federal prosecutor’s office said the car was intercepted late Thursday morning at the port docks and a Frenchman living in France was arrested. Source