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RECOGNIZANCES AND UNDERTAKINGS

Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 11:58 AM  


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Application by the Crown for an order that the defendant Ibrahim enter into a recognizance. The Crown submitted that the informant, an RCMP sergeant, had reasonable grounds to fear that Ibrahim may commit a terrorism offence for the benefit of ISIS. Ibrahim was a 41-year-old Canadian citizen originally from northern Iraq. He was a non-practicing Muslim. He came to the attention of the police in 2011 as a result of a third party concern about his mental health. Ibrahim had struggled with depression for several years and he was the subject of an increasing number of complaints to the police, including complaints about non-specific musings about ISIS and wanting to harm Canadians. He had no history of weapons or violence and he had no military training. He had been charged with threatening Canadians and was released on bail. Those charges remained outstanding. When the police searched Ibrahim’s phone, they discovered graphic images and searches related to ISIS activities in Syria and elsewhere. The defence took the position that the Crown’s application was based entirely on untested hearsay evidence and that the informant’s fear was not reasonable.

HELD: Application dismissed. While some of the images captured on Ibrahim’s phone were disturbing, only a fraction of the images captured were produced in evidence. There was no expert psychological or psychiatric evidence presented to show that private downloaded photos and profane Google searches were indicators of a predisposition to engage in criminal or antisocial acts. The informant had no personal knowledge of the contents of the exhibits and he relied entirely on information collected by third parties to inform his fear. The informant took no steps to verify credibility concerns regarding individuals who offered witness statements. The Crown had not tendered any psychiatric reports, recent medical reports, risk assessments, or viva voce evidence from anyone who had interacted directly with Ibrahim. While Ibrahim’s utterances and behaviour in the community warranted investigation, there was a lack of credible and reliable evidence to support the informant’s fear on a subjective or objective basis.

R. v. Ibrahim, [2018] B.C.J. No. 205, British Columbia Provincial Court, T. Alexander Prov. Ct. J., January 23, 2018. Digest No. TLD-March192018002