Twelve years not enough: Crown

TORONTO — A 12-year sentence for a convicted terrorist is “not proportionate to the gravity of the offence,” the government says in trying to appeal it.

TORONTO — A 12-year sentence for a convicted terrorist is “not proportionate to the gravity of the offence,” the government says in trying to appeal it.

Saad Gaya, 22, was convicted in September of intending to cause an explosion in association with a terrorist group and was sentenced to 12 years.

With credit for the time he has already served, Gaya was sentenced to a further 4 1/2 years and could be eligible to seek parole in 1 1/2 years.

Gaya and 17 others were arrested in 2006 as part of the so-called Toronto 18 group.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada announced Monday it has filed a notice of appeal with the Ontario Court of Appeal seeking leave to appeae.

“The trial judge erred in finding that the respondent’s statement post-arrest amounted to co-operation, which could mitigate sentence,” Crown lawyers wrote in the notice of appeal.

They advance four grounds of appeal in the court document, including that the sentence isn’t proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the culpability of the offender and the judge’s use of Gaya’s police statement.

The Crown also contends the judge “unduly emphasized” the principles of rehabilitation and specific deterrence.

The judge erred by failing to order that Gaya serve at least half of his sentence before being released on parole, the Crown also wrote in the notice of appeal.

Gaya is imprisoned at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ont., west of Toronto.

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