Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Terror Suspect Awso Peshdary under Communication Ban, at Least for Now

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Terror Suspect Awso Peshdary under Communication Ban, at Least for Now

Article excerpt

Terror suspect gets communication ban

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OTTAWA - Terrorism suspect Awso Peshdary has been barred -- at least for the moment -- from communicating with several people, partly due to Crown fears of witness intimidation.

The 25-year-old Ottawa man made an initial court appearance Wednesday following his arrest the day before on four charges, including participation in the activities of a terrorist group.

Two other Ottawa men -- accused of joining extremists overseas -- were also charged with terror-related offences, even though their whereabouts are unknown and one is reportedly dead.

Peshdary's lawyer, Richard Morris, said his client intends to plead not guilty.

"He's doing as well as can be expected," Morris said after the hearing in Ottawa. "He's -- as you might expect -- a little bit surprised and dismayed by the charges he's facing."

Peshdary's parents, wife and sister attended the hearing.

Morris argued in court there was not enough information to grant the non-communication order, saying he was "still in the dark" as to the reasoning behind it.

Federal prosecutor Rod Sonley said the order was needed to prevent interference with a dozen or so individuals -- including members of the Muslim students association at Ottawa's Algonquin College -- who might be witnesses or otherwise figure in the case.

Sonley told a justice of the peace there was "more than sufficient" basis for the order and "no evidence to the contrary."

The resulting court order, which will be revisited at a hearing Monday, covers Peshdary's co-accused -- John Maguire, 24, and Khadar Khalib, 23 -- both of whom the RCMP consider active members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

The extremist organization has been on a vicious, atrocity-riddled rampage across large portions of the Middle East, and is the target of a U.S.-led combat mission in Iraq by a coalition of countries, including Canada. …

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