WATCH: Terrorism fears result in Montreal couple signing peace bond with strict conditions
The two CEGEP students who were found not guilty of most of the terrorism-related charges they were facing will now have to respect a raft of strict conditions for the next year because authorities say they believe the two may commit a terrorist act.
Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali signed a peace bond this morning after weeks of negotiations by the defence and the crown.
The two former students of Collège de Maisonneuve were acquitted last December. Among the charges: trying to leave Canada to commit a terrorist act overseas.
Jamali was found guilty of a lesser charge of possession of an explosive substance. He was sentenced to time served in preventive custody. The two were arrested in April 2015.
Two ex-Collège de Maisonneuve students Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali who were acquitted of terrorism charges now have agreed to respect strict conditions for a year because authorities have fears they may commit a terrorist act. #CJAD— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) May 4, 2018
"What's before the court here is not their guilt in relation to an offence, what's before the court is that the police (...) have fears of the possibility that these people might commit a terrorist offence," said federal prosecutor Richard Roy.
"All the Crown has to demonstrate is that this fear is grounded on reasonable grounds and the burden is much less (than for a criminal conviction)."
Defence lawyer Charles Benmouyal said contesting the peace bond would have resulted in a hearing where hearsay evidence would have been admissible.
"This is not an admission that these two young people are terrorists. Not at all," Benmoutal told reporters.
"It is the fear of an existence of a possibility of an offence being committed - this is a very low standard."
Djermane and Jamali didn't say anything in court besides "yes" to whether they would respect the conditions.
Ok everything's signed. Judge reminded Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali of consequences if they don't respect the peace bond conditions including no social media; no contact with anyone with terrorist links; no consulting terrorist, radical, violent material. #CJAD pic.twitter.com/53fGyAZuUs— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) May 4, 2018
Among the conditions:
- they can't leave the country;
- they can't apply for a passport;
- they can't engage in any social media;
- they can't consult or access any material related to terrorism, radicalism and violence;
- they can't contact anyone with links to a terrorist group;
- they must not go to a specific mosque in the east end of Montreal;
- they must check in with police every week.
The two could be hauled back to court if they violate any of the conditions.
There was a slight delay in signing the documents because lawyers said they are so rarely used that the court clerk had to dig them up and print them out and then lawyers had to do some editing.