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Updated: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:32:13 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Sayfildin Tahir Sharif should be extradited: Alberta court



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The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that an Edmonton man should be extradited to the United States to face terrorism and murder charges.

SayfildinTahir Sharif is accused of conspiracy to kill Americans and of supporting a terror group that took part in a 2009 suicide bombing in his native Iraq.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed when a truck filled with explosives was detonated at a military checkpoint.

Sharif, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in January 2011 at an Edmonton apartment where he lived with his girlfriend and her children. He has spent the last three and a half years behind bars at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Last summer, Canada's justice minister granted Sharif’s extradition after receiving assurances from the U.S. that he wouldn't face the death penaltyor be detained in military custody prior to trial.

Sharif appealed the decision. At a May 2014 hearing, his lawyers argued that RCMP didn't allow their client access to a lawyer or interpreter the day of his arrest, and transcripts of police interviews show he didn't understand what was going on.

They also told court that allegations against their client came from three people, including his brother, who was tortured by investigators in Iraq.

The Appeal Court reserved its decision after hearing four hours of arguments.

Three months later, three Appeal Court justices have released their 24-page decision, in which they rule Sharif's rights were protected when he was questioned by Canadian and American authorities.

The Alberta court said Sharif made it clear during his interrogation that he knew what was going on, commenting at one point that he shouldn’t be talking but continuing to do so.

The justices also ruled evidence from one informant was likely obtained through torture by Americans interrogators. However, they said the case against Sharif remained strong enough to hold up even after the controversial evidence was excluded.

Sharif's lawyer, Nate Whitling, said that kind of thinking troubles him.

“So they essentially overlooked the very serious concern that's raised by the prospect of torture in investigating this case,” he said Monday.

Now, Whitling has vowed to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

If Sharif is extradited and convicted in the United States, he could face life in prison with no chance of parole.

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