CTV News reports that “The federal government has paid a total of $31.3 million in settlements to three men wrongfully accused of links to terrorism and tortured in a Syrian prison.“
I have no doubt that the three, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin, were abused and tortured in Syrian jails; I have little doubt that they would have made a good case in court ~ they had filed a $100 Million lawsuit against Canada, charging that acts by Canadian officials led to their arrest and detention and abuse in Syria. There is plenty of sound legal argument, I believe, for settling law suits out of court for less than ⅓ of what was being asked … no doubt the government will say that it is both serving justice and saving money.
What I, and now no one, will ever know is whether or not there were any good, security grounds for the allegations and reports made by Canadian (CSIS and RCMP?) officials about Messers Almalki, El Maati and Nureddin. Meeting them in open court would, I suspect, have forced that evidence into the light of day and allowed a judge to tell us how good it was. That’s one of the great advantages of courts of law: the precious grains facts are sifted from the worthless chaff of rumours and allegations and “evidence.”
In any event the Trudeau Liberals are paying, yet again, for (allegedly) serious abuses committed when the Chrétien Liberals were in power ~ the alleged abuses in these cases were committed between 2001 and late 2003, the Chrétien era. The CTV News report goes on to say that “A 2008 [Prime Minister Stephen Harper era] inquiry led by a former Supreme Court justice determined that federal officials contributed to the men’s torture by sharing important information with international agencies … Foreign Affairs, CSIS and the RCMP were found to have made mistakes in connection with the cases, the inquiry found.” Once again, Prime Minister Harper did the right things, but, perhaps, not the most generous things and certainly not the thing that would buy him the affections of the Muslim communities in Canada, and he did them the right way, too, while Prime Minister Trudeau does only what he thinks will buy him votes in the (growing in importance) Muslim-Canadian communities, and make Liberal mistakes fade from memory.