Canadian Court Acquits Egyptian Accused of Threatening Israeli Consulate
A judge Friday acquitted Tarek Adealy Khafagy, an Egyptian accused of threatening to blow up the Israeli consulate Canada in March.
Judge Gilles Cadieux pointed to what he termed lies, contradictions and implausibilities in the testimony of lead witness Aymon Bondok, a 24-year-old Canadian of Egyptian descent, in his ruling that ended the three-week trial.
The judge said Khafagy could well have "benefited from reasonable doubt" as a result of this questionable testimony.
On March 1, the Israeli consulate received an anonymous call threatening an attack if Lebanese prisoners in Israel were not released.
The following day, Bondok contacted police and led them to the home of 30-year-old Khafagy, who has lived in Canada since 1998. There, police found a small quantity of bomb-making materials.
Bondok later said he had placed the anonymous call himself and that it was he who purchased the materials. But he maintained that, in doing so, he was acting under the orders of Khafagy.
After six months in custody, Bondok was released and called as a witness for the prosecution, where he testified that Khafagy was a member of a "religious Muslim group," possibly Hizbollah.
Defense lawyers said Bondok had lied several times in his testimony on Monday, and that he had an interest in seeing Khafagy expelled, because he owed the defendant money.
However, there also was doubt over the credibility of the defendant, who had lied to immigration officials to be accepted as a refugee in Canada.
"I want to reclaim my job and my life," Khafagy told journalists through an interpreter after learning of the verdict – MONTREAL (AFP)
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