Khawaja faces first sentence under terror law
OTTAWA – The final act of a legal drama five years in the making is about to play out for Momin Khawaja.
The 29-year-old Ottawa software developer, convicted last fall on five counts of financing and facilitating terrorism as well as two lesser Criminal Code offences, is to be sentenced Thursday by Justice Douglas Rutherford in Ontario Superior Court.
It will be a judicial landmark – the first sentence handed down under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act that was pushed through Parliament following the 9-11 attacks in the United States.
And Rutherford’s task will be complicated by the widely divergent advice he’s received about the punishment that should be imposed.
Defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, at a pre-sentencing hearing last month, calculated the appropriate prison time for his client at seven and a half years on all charges.
But Khawaja has already been in custody since his arrest in March 2004, and judges commonly give double credit for time spent in jail before the official term is imposed.
Given that fact, Greenspon maintained that Khawaja should get no more than a symbolic one more day behind bars and then be turned loose.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y8awkev