Terrorist Chiheb Esseghaier wants to drop his appeal, but it’s not that simple

In a very succinct judgment, the Ontario Court of Appeal explains that it is important to fully understand Chiheb Esseghaier’s approach given his troubled past.

Chiheb Esseghaier had been found fit to stand trial, but his health had deteriorated significantly during his sentencing hearing.

At the time, the Montrealer spat on the lawyers, he insulted the Crown prosecutors, he lay down in the dock of the accused to take a nap there.

The terrorist defended himself so well that his pleadings were marked by delirium and hallucinations.

A court drawing of Chiheb Esseghaier in front of the judges.

Outrage in Chiheb Esseghaier court on July 14, 2015 during his sentencing hearing after the guilty verdict.

Photo: CBC/Pam Davies

Reports had also been presented in the Superior Court of Ontario about his mental instability, but the trial judge had condemned him as a sane individual.

After his conviction, he received treatment in detention for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Thursday’s judgment, however, does not specify whether the individual has recently stopped taking his medication.

At the latest news, Chiheb Esseghaier is incarcerated in Abbotsford Penitentiary in British Columbia.

A first in Ontario

Like any trial at first instance, an appellate process implies that the plaintiff is fit to stand trial on appeal.

Does his mental state have a connection with his informed decision to abandon his requestwonder the judges who say they want to protect the interests of Montrealers.

The Court of Appeal does have the discretion to dismiss an application for abandonment if the applicant does not have the mental capacity to understand what he is doing.

She therefore decided to appoint a friend of the court to hear the position of Esseghaier, his doctor and his lawyer if he agrees to be represented this time.

A passenger train runs on a winding railway track in the summer.

The trial had shown that Chiheb Esseghaier and his accomplice Raed Jaser wanted to blow up a bridge near Toronto to derail a passenger train.

Photo: Reuters/Shaun Best

No one knows the nature of the legal criteria that a plaintiff must meet to abandon an appeal in such circumstances, because no such petition had been submitted to the Court of Appeal before.

Lawyer Chris Sewrattan (who is not involved in this case) explains however that the Court will have to try to see if Chiheb Esseghaier understands what an appeal procedure is, what such an abandonment means and what would be the consequences. consequences that flow from it.

In criminal procedure, fitness is about your ability to appreciate what is happening, not the wisdom of what you are doing.he said.

No hearing date has yet been set for the next meeting between the parties involved in these appeal proceedings.

Drawing by Raed Jaser during an appearance in April 2013

Raed Jaser during an appearance in April 2013 ahead of his 2014/2015 Toronto Superior Court trial.

Photo: The Canadian Press/John Mantha

Esseghaier’s intention to abandon his approach, however, has no impact on his accomplice’s decision to appeal his guilty verdict.

Torontonian Raed Jaser disputes in particular the fact that he was refused a trial alone and that he had to be tried in the company of a man with a fragile mental balance.

The two individuals had wanted to blow up a railway bridge in the Toronto area in an attempt to derail a passenger train in 2012 on behalf of the Al-Qaeda group.


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