Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Undercover Terrorism Sting Was Only Means to Investigate B.C. Couple: Lawyer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Undercover Terrorism Sting Was Only Means to Investigate B.C. Couple: Lawyer

Article excerpt

Undercover sting was only option for RCMP: lawyer


VANCOUVER - Mounties in charge of an undercover sting on a British Columbia couple accused of being terrorist sympathizers can't be faulted for bringing in a "closer" to wrap up the controversial operation, says a Crown lawyer.

Peter Eccles told B.C. Supreme Court on Monday that police couldn't draw out their investigation indefinitely and needed to determine whether John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were serious about following through with any of their various proposals for jihad, or holy war.

"So long as (the closer) doesn't induce, incite or entrap, you can't fault the police for wanting to shut this thing down," Eccles said.

"(The police) can't walk away. Not from these two. Not with what they know. So they have to find some way to arrest or walk."

Nuttall and Korody were found guilty of planting what they believed were pressure-cooker bombs at the B.C. legislature on July 1, 2013, with the intention to commit mass murder during Canada Day festivities. Their verdicts were put on hold while lawyers argue in a second hearing whether police manipulated the couple.

An elaborate undercover operation involving more than 240 officers was the only way for officers to protect the public, Eccles told the court.

Nuttall's group of friends and associates was secluded and small, making it difficult for RCMP find a confidential informant, he said.

The Mounties steered Nuttall and Korody toward planting bombs at the provincial legislature because it was a safer and more manageable scenario than other riskier ideas the pair had floated, Eccles added.

Those ideas included hijacking a navy submarine, firing rockets at Seattle and infiltrating a synagogue to slaughter Jewish children.

Defence lawyers have said police exploited the couple's vulnerabilities as isolated former drug addicts living on welfare to draw them into what was portrayed as a shadowy terrorist organization. …

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