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

  • Prosecutors seek Friday court appearance for Epstein associate

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Prosecutors on Sunday asked a judge to schedule a Friday court appearance in New York for Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate to face charges she helped him recruit women to sexually abuse. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, was arrested Thursday at a US$1 million estate on 156 acres that she purchased last December in Bradford, New Hampshire. Source
  • China issues bubonic plague warning for Inner Mongolia city

    World News CBC News
    Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning on Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system. Source
  • British police use 'EncroChat' breach to arrest more than 700 alleged 'kingpin' criminals

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Over the last three months, British police forces from across the country have made hundreds of arrests following a massive breakthrough by law enforcement into the dealings of organized crime within the U.K. Police have arrested more than 700 people accused of being gun runners, drug traffickers, money launderers and more. Source
  • Canadian Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, dies from coronavirus complications

    Canada News CBC News
    Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. Source
  • Dominican Republic chooses leader amid rising COVID-19 cases

    World News CTV News
    Luis Abinader, presidential candidate of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party, greets the crowd while he is surrounded by journalists at a voting center during the presidential elections, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, July 5, 2020. Source
  • Iran confirms damaged nuclear site was centrifuge facility

    World News CTV News
    This photo released Thursday, July 2, 2020, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows a building after it was damaged by a fire, at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. Source
  • This town replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years

    World News CTV News
    Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counsellors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn't necessarily require police intervention. Source
  • Some celebrated July Fourth virtually while others packed beaches despite coronavirus surge

    World News CTV News
    Millions of Americans marked a very different Independence Day this year, with many choosing virtual celebrations or canceling plans altogether amid mounting concern over the coronavirus pandemic. The changes followed pleas from health officials warning that holiday crowds and packed gatherings like the ones the U.S. Source
  • Boy, 9, missing in Winnipeg's Red River since Friday found dead, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    The body of a nine-year-old boy who went missing after going into Winnipeg's Red River on Friday afternoon has been found in the water, police said on Sunday afternoon. Darius Bezecki was biking with two brothers and a friend near his home when all four ended up in the river, Const. Source
  • Former officer charged in Floyd's death posts US$750K bond

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail, according to Hennepin County jail records. Tou Thao, age 34, is the third former officer accused in Floyd's death to be released on bond. Source