OTTAWA, Sept. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Commission of Inquiry into the Actions
of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar, headed by Mr. Justice Dennis
O'Connor, will not be calling Mr. Arar as a witness. The Inquiry has now been
notified by Counsel for Mr. Arar that he is not asking the Inquiry to
reconvene a public hearing as there is no need for him to testify. Mr. Arar
advised the Commissioner that he made his decision in light of the Inquiry's
very full review and report on the conduct of Canadian Officials.
In his ruling of May 9, 2005, Commissioner O'Connor decided that the
decision whether to call Mr. Arar as a witness should be deferred until there
had been made available to him the maximum amount of information relating to
the matters about which he could testify. Delaying the decision did not
adversely affect the progress of the Inquiry as the mandate was to investigate
and report on the actions of Canadian Officials that related to Mr. Arar. In
the view of the Commissioner, Mr. Arar's evidence was not necessary in light
of his mandate. However, Mr. Arar was given the right to apply to the
Commissioner to testify after full disclosure was complete.
With the recent release of further information authorized by the Federal
Court of Canada, Mr. Arar and the public do have the maximum amount of
information which will be disclosed.
Therefore, the Commission is of the view that its mandate is now
fulfilled and has so advised the Government of Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Paul Cavalluzzo, Lead Commission Counsel, (416)