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Canada bids to expel suspected terrorist

OTTAWA, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Proceedings to expel a suspected al-Qaida terrorist from Canada back to Algeria have begun, but an appeal on human-rights issues has been raised, lawyers said.

A lawyer for former Ottawa pizza delivery worker Mohamed Harkat, 42, said a Ministry of Immigration letter announcing the government's intention to deport the man would be appealed, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

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Attorney Matt Webber told reporters he would fight the order all the way to the Supreme Court, as Harkat could be subjected to torture in his native country.

Harkat was arrested in 2002 and accused of being an al-Qaida "sleeper agent" who gathered intelligence to aid terror activities.

In December a federal court deemed him to be a security threat, leading to the deportation order, the Ottawa Citizen said.

Webber said his client has always maintained his innocence and is willing to fight as long as it takes.

"We are talking years. If we do not prevail in the Federal Court of Appeal, we will make every effort to get this matter put before the Supreme Court," Webber said.

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