Academic journal article Canada-United States Law Journal

A Dispute Arising under the Statute of The: International Court of Justice February, 2013 the Government of Canada (Applicant) V. the Government of the United States (Respondent): Memorial of the Applicant

Academic journal article Canada-United States Law Journal

A Dispute Arising under the Statute of The: International Court of Justice February, 2013 the Government of Canada (Applicant) V. the Government of the United States (Respondent): Memorial of the Applicant

Article excerpt

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Hamoukar, LLC (Hamoukar) is a Syrian corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of surgical and other hospital supplies. (1) Mr. Hadi Kuzbari (Kuzbari), a Syrian national, is the company's founder and currently serves as president and chief executive officer. (2) Purcell Operations Corporation (POCo) is an Ontario corporation also engaged in the sale of medical equipment. (3) POCo's founder and chief executive officer is Steven Purcell (Purcell), a Canadian citizen. (4) POCo and Hamoukar entered a business arrangement in 1995, whereby POCo sells Hamoukar manufactured equipment to Canadian hospitals. (5)

On October, 21, 2006, Hamoukar and Kuzbari were added to a list of sanctioned individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida by the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee under UN Security Council Resolution 1267. (6) The Committee alleged that Hamoukar had significant financial ties to Al-Qaida and provided financial support to several Al-Qaida associated entities. (7) The U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) announced on October 22, 2006 that it had added Kuzbari and Hamoukar to its Specially Designated Nationals List. (8) The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada issued a press release on October 23, 2006 notifying Canadian financial institutions that Kuzbari and Hamoukar had been added to the UN Sanctions List. (9)

In response to the October 26th announcement that Canada had designated Hamoukar a terrorist group pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada, (10) POCo's attorney contacted Public Safety Canada to alert them that POCo currently held approximately $25 million worth of inventory subject to the agreement in its three warehouses. (11)

Following an October 30, 2006 conversation between Purcell and Kuzbari, the two CEOs signed an agreement terminating the sales agreement and stipulating that Hamoukar would receive no proceeds from the merchandise presently in POCo's inventory now or at any time in the future. (12) Pursuant to the original agreement, POCo continues to bear the expenses for marketing and storing the inventory in the original three warehouses, which are leased by POCo under its own name. (13) POCo was granted a permit on November 1, 2006 by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs "to maintain inventory specified in Schedule A at the respective locations specified in that Schedule, but not to sell, use, or otherwise dispose of said equipment." (14)

On December 5, 2006, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized all POCo property contained in the Detroit, MI warehouse. (15) The inventory seized is legally owned by POCo and covered by the aforementioned permit. (16) As of January 1, 2011, OFAC received no reports of property or transactions involving Kuzbari or Hamoukar within the U.S. (17)

Kuzbari continuously protested the sanctions levied against him and his company by offering his personal and financial records to foreign intelligence services, and giving numerous interviews to international news media. (18) Due to his meetings with foreign intelligence officials and the international media, Syrian President Bashar Assad named Kuzbari a "co-conspirator and key organizer" of the January/February anti-Assad protests carried out across Syria. (19) As a result, Syrian security forces arrested and brutally interrogated members of Kuzbari's family and forced the disappearance of several Hamoukar key officers. (20)

In March 2011, Kuzbari fled this government-sponsored persecution and presented himself at the Canadian embassy in Beirut where he formally applied for political asylum and permission to move to Canada. (21) During the course of review, Canadian officials subsequently confirmed all material elements of Kuzbari's story. (22)

The Canadian consular official reviewing Kuzbari's petition determined that Kuzbari satisfied all of the Convention Refugee elements under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. …

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