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Raed Jaser, who faces three terror-related charges, was denied bail. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)
Raed Jaser, who faces three terror-related charges, was denied bail. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

Man accused in alleged Via Rail plot denied bail Add to ...

One of two men accused of plotting to attack a Via Rail train has been denied bail.

The family of Raed Jaser was in attendance throughout his three-day bail hearing, which had been postponed from October because a surety was out of the country.

Jaser, 35, faces four terror-related charges.

He and his co-accused Chiheb Esseghaier, 31, were arrested in April and accused of plotting to attack a train that runs between Toronto and New York City.

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Police stressed at the time of the arrests that there was no imminent threat to the public.

A joint judicial pretrial for both has been set for Dec. 9.

Esseghaier is looking for a lawyer who will follow the Koran instead of the Criminal Code, but the prosecutor has said the chances of that happening are slim.

Esseghaier has said that if he can’t find a lawyer he is willing to represent himself.

Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were arrested in April and accused of plotting to attack a Via train that runs between Toronto and New York City. Police stressed at the time of the arrests that there was no imminent threat to the public.

Prosecutors had originally alleged Esseghaier and Jaser plotted together between April 1 and Sept. 25, 2012 and Esseghaier also participated in a terrorist group between Sept. 25, 2012 and Feb. 14, 2013.

Now, the Crown alleges both men conspired to murder for the benefit of a terrorist group and to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group between Aug. 26 and Sept. 25, 2012.

Participation in a terrorist group is also alleged from both Sept. 7 to Sept. 10 of that year and Sept. 13 to Sept. 24.

Esseghaier still faces the additional charge of participating in a terrorist group from Sept. 25, 2012 to Feb. 14, 2013.

If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

A third man, Ahmed Abassi, is facing terrorism charges in the U.S. and prosecutors allege he “radicalized” Esseghaier. American authorities also said Abassi did not support the alleged Via Rail plot and was pushing for a different plan that would contaminate the air or water with bacteria and kill up to 100,000 people.

Jaser is also fighting in Federal Court a decision by the Parole Board of Canada to revoke a pardon he had for unrelated crimes.

Jaser was granted the pardon in 2009 for uttering threats and fraud convictions from when he was a young man and Federal Court documents show that the parole board decided to revoke Jaser’s pardon months after he was charged in the alleged Via plot.

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