Criminal Code not 'holy book,' suspect in alleged train terror plot says

The Canadian Press
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RCMP officers leave a courthouse in Montreal on Tuesday after an appearance by terror suspect Chiheb Esseghaier, who was arrested and charged along with Raed Jaser on Monday for allegedly planning to attack a Via Rail passenger train. — Canadian Press photo

A man charged in an alleged al-Qaida-directed plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train was remanded in custody Wednesday after telling the court the Criminal Code is “not a holy book.”

After his charges were read out, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, asked to address the court.

The charges against him were based on the Criminal Code and “we know that this Criminal Code is not a holy book,” Esseghaier said in a Montreal courtroom.

“It’s just written by set of creations and the creations they’re not perfect because only the creator is perfect.”

As a result, he said, the “conclusions taken out from these judgments” are unreliable.

The justice of the peace presiding over the case, who had told him to be careful what he said, put over the case.

Esseghaier, was remanded in custody and is to appear again May 23. He was also told he must apply for bail at a different level of court.

The PhD student who faces several terrorism charges along with Toronto resident Raed Jaser, 35, first appeared Tuesday in Montreal.

Jaser was earlier remanded in custody until May 23, when he is to appear via video from a detention centre.

The duo was arrested Monday amid police allegations that they plotted to derail a passenger train.

Organizations: Al-Qaida, Via Rail

Geographic location: TORONTO, Montreal

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