Ottawa holds key to Canadian leaving Sudan, trial told – Federal government accused of ‘procrastination, evasiveness, obfuscation and general bad faith’ – By Joanna Smith
By Joanna Smith, Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA – There is nothing to stop the federal government from bringing a Canadian man stranded in Sudan home tomorrow if they wanted to, his lawyers argued in Federal Court yesterday.
“We are dealing with an individual who is completely dependent on the (federal government) for his repatriation,” lawyer Yavar Hameed said yesterday of his client Abousfian Abdelrazik, who has been sleeping on a cot inside the Canadian embassy in Khartoum for more than a year. “He’s in a very peculiar situation.”
His curious position was underscored before the judge even entered the courtroom yesterday.
“Can you hear me in Khartoum?” a clerk asked while leaning over a telephone as lawyers and observers gathered yesterday to hear the opening submissions in a Federal Court application arguing the Canadian government has violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by denying Abdelrazik the emergency passport he needs to come home.
“Yes, we can hear you in Khartoum,” a male voice responded a few seconds later before falling silent for the rest of the day.
Abdelrazik’s lawyers slammed the federal government for raising the bar each time he tried to come home. “We find procrastination, evasiveness, obfuscation and general bad faith,” said Hameed, when describing how the government had acted during the six years Abdelrazik has been away from his children.
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