Abdelrazik torture lawsuit to proceed after mediation cancelled

OTTAWA — A Montreal man’s lawsuit over his detention and alleged torture in Sudan is heading to a Federal Court hearing in September following the abrupt cancellation of settlement talks.

Paul Champ, lawyer for Abousfian Abdelrazik, says the federal government nixed the planned mediation sessions just before they were to begin.

Abdelrazik came from Africa as a refugee in 1990 and attained Canadian citizenship five years later.

He was arrested, but not charged, during a 2003 visit to see his ailing mother in Sudan.

While in Sudanese custody, he was interrogated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service about suspected extremist links.

Abdelrazik claims he was tortured by Sudanese intelligence officials during two periods of detention, but Canada says it knew nothing of the alleged abuse.

Days after his second release from prison, in July 2006, Abdelrazik’s name turned up on a United Nations Security Council blacklist that prevented him from flying back to Canada.

He was granted haven in the Canadian consulate in Khartoum, but Canada refused to issue him a travel document to fly home. Amid intense publicity about his case, he returned to Montreal in June 2009.

That same month, the Federal Court concluded CSIS was complicit in Abdelrazik’s 2003 detention.

Abdelrazik’s name was removed from the UN list in late 2011.

He seeks compensation and an apology from the federal government for his prolonged ordeal in Sudan.

The Canadian Press

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