Arrived in Canada using false Saudi passports, Mahmoud Jaballah sues federal government for $34M

After 17-year deportation fight over alleged terrorism ties, Toronto man sues federal government for $34M

Between 1999 and 2016, the government signed three security certificates naming Jaballah, all of which ultimately failed to stand up in court

Security certificate detainee Mahmoud Jaballah waits at home in this image from the film The Secret Trial.Noah G. Bingham via CP

OTTAWA — One of the longest-running national security cases in Canada has resulted in a massive civil lawsuit, as an Egyptian-born Toronto man is suing the federal government for repeatedly trying to deport him over alleged ties to the 1998 terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

The federal government first arrested Mahmoud Jaballah in 1999 through the use of a national security certificate, a controversial tool that uses classified evidence kept secret from the accused. That kicked off a 17-year battle between Jaballah and the federal government over the legitimacy and constitutionality of the certificates. Jaballah has always maintained the allegations against him are false.

Jaballah has now filed a statement of claim seeking general damages for him, his wife and his six children totalling $34 million, plus an additional $3.4 million in aggravated and punitive damages — though it’s the judge that sets damages if a plaintiff wins. The lawsuit was filed in Toronto in the Ontario Superior Court on Nov. 28, 2018.

Jaballah arrived in Canada with his family in May 1996 using false Saudi Arabia passports. The family claimed refugee status, pointing to persecution by Egyptian authorities who accused him of links with al-Qaeda terrorists.

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