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

  • The pressure is on for Senate to pass a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal quickly

    Canada News CBC News
    The push is on for Parliament to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement so that Canada can reap the benefits that come from being an early adopter of the deal — and there's a race on now to beat other countries to the punch. Source
  • Crimean city turns to mourning 20 victims of school attack

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- While Crimean authorities searched for clues that might help explain why a teenager gunned down 20 people at his vocational school before killing himself, the stunned city of Kerch prepared to say farewell to the victims. Source
  • Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit and never intended to: source

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The federal government has no intention of sending anyone to a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week at a time when Riyadh is the target of global outrage -- and one source insists Ottawa never had plans to dispatch a delegation. Source
  • Feds open clergy abuse probe in Pennsylvania

    World News CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand secret files and testimony from high-ranking leaders in what victims' advocates say is the first such probe ever launched by the U.S. Source
  • With empty Speaker ballot, New Brunswick faces prospect of new government — or new election

    Canada News CBC News
    New Brunswick could be lurching toward a new minority government or a new election after all four political parties said that none of their members would be on the ballot to become Speaker of the legislature. Source
  • Black market sets sights on cannabis edibles, tablets, ointments

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Liberal government is well aware the massive black market for marijuana is banking on the appeal of products like gummies, tablets, sprays and creams but it defends waiting for another year to greenlight these items for the legal market. Source
  • Pit bull puppy digs up loaded gun at apartment complex

    World News CTV News
    GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Police in a North Carolina city are treating a pit bull puppy as a hero after he dug up a loaded .38-calibre revolver at an apartment complex. Greenville police posted on its Facebook page the puppy that officers nicknamed Ryder was playing in the grass at the apartment complex when it found the gun wrapped in a t-shirt. Source
  • Provinces raked in revenue on day one of cannabis sales

    Canada News CTV News
    Even with only a handful of stores open in each province, some provincial governments raked in revenue from cannabis on the first day of legal recreational sales. Quebec’s Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis (SQC) reports that its dozen provincially-run retail locations had customers waiting up to four hours to buy its products. Source
  • U.S. opens investigation into child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania

    World News CBC News
    The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand confidential files and testimony from church leaders, according to two people familiar with the probe. Source
  • Cannabis retailers warn of lingering supply shortage

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Demand for newly legal pot appears to be outstripping supply as retailers run low on some products or are cleaned out completely amid a shortfall that could last for months. Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said Thursday that it is expecting product shortages in both brick-and-mortar and online stores could last "up to at least six months. Source