“‘I am satisfied that life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence,’ the judge added, noting that the men would receive credit for time already spent in custody. He said both men have not renounced their violent, jihadist ideology and have shown no remorse.”
But remember: if you start to inquire about what exactly that violent, jihadist ideology consists of, and call for it to be combated by the Muslim communities that ostensibly reject it, you’re a racist, bigoted Islamophobe.
“2 Via Rail terror plotters sentenced to life in prison,” CBC News, September 23, 2015 (thanks to Lookmann):
Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier, the men convicted earlier this year on terrorism charges for plotting to derail a Via passenger train, were both sentenced to life in prison today in a Toronto courtroom.
In passing sentence, Superior Court of Justice Judge Michael Code said the unusual gravity of terrorism offences means he had to send a strong enough message to deter others considering carrying out similar crimes. He said there was little evidence presented that mitigates the presumptive sentence of life in prison.
“These are the most serious of terrorism offences, designed to result in indiscriminate killings of innocent human beings,” he said.
“I am satisfied that life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence,” the judge added, noting that the men would receive credit for time already spent in custody.
He said both men have not renounced their violent, jihadist ideology and have shown no remorse.
Crown sought life sentences
In March, both men were found guilty of conspiring to commit murder for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group.
Esseghaier, of Montreal, was found guilty of all charges against him, while Jaser, of Toronto, was convicted of all but one charge. The jury also found the men guilty of six other terror-related charges between them.
The Crown was seeking life sentences for both men.
Jaser’s lawyer argued for a sentence of 5½ years in jail which would include three years for time already served. Esseghaier made no sentencing submission.
After the sentences were delivered, Jaser shook his head, closed his eyes at one point and held his face in one hand.
Esseghaier crossed his arms and leaned back in the prisoner’s box as Code read out his 53-page sentencing decision.
“The life sentence doesn’t have any meaning for me,” Esseghaier told the judge after his sentence was delivered, adding God was his “master.”
A copy of the ruling was offered to Esseghaier after it was read by the judge, but he threw it back.
Mental health questions
Regarding Esseghaier, the judge addressed in detail questions about his mental health, including Esseghaier’s assertion that it is currently the year 2014 and that he and his soul, will be released from jail on Dec. 25 of that year.
The judge called them “realizations” not “delusions” and said he’s skeptical Esseghaier is schizophrenic. In short, he said, Esseghaier’s mental health was not a mitigating factor in the sentence.
“The evidence is overwhelming that he was not delusional or psychotic at the time of the offence,” Code said. “It is unprecedented to adjourn a sentencing hearing indefinitely to await treatment.”
Code said it was “unnecessary to arrive at any firm conclusions regarding Esseghaier’s alleged mental illness.”
FBI recordings prove critical
The most important evidence in the case was 25 hours of secretly recorded conversations between the two men and an undercover FBI agent. The agent posed as a wealthy Egyptian-American real estate developer whose views had supposedly become more hard line in recent years and who was a willing accomplice in the conspiracy….
In passing sentence Wednesday, Code rejected Jaser’s argument that he was entrapped by the undercover FBI agent, saying both he and Esseghaier were predisposed to carry out violent acts before the agent was introduced to the group….