Opinion: Djamel Ameziane Entered Canada Illegally Should Not be Paid $50 Million

Ameziane came to Canada with a fake Dutch passport in 1995. His application for refugee status was denied. He left Canada in 2000 and moved to Afghanistan.

Djamel Ameziane
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Ameziane Entered Canada Illegally

Former Canadian resident and Guantanamo Bay detainee, Djamel Ameziane, is suing the Canadian government for $50 million. The claim purportedly lays the blame for Ameziane’s mistreatment in Guantanamo Bay on Canadian officials. Ameziane entered Canada illegally.

Ameziane came to Canada with a fake Dutch passport in 1995. His application for refugee status was denied. He left Canada in 2000 and moved to Afghanistan. In 2001, Ameziane connected with Taliban fighters and began travelling with them. Ameziane was captured by a local tribe for bounty when he crossed the border into Afghanistan. The tribe handed Ameziane to Pakistani officials who transferred him to American control. Ameziane was moved to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 and stayed there for 11 years.

The Khadr’s Settlement Has Consequences for Justin’s Government

Ameziane’s lawsuit is a direct result of the ill-advised $10.5 million payout to Omar Khadr.

Ameziane is represented by Edmonton-based lawyer Nate Whitling. The basis of the statement of claim is that Canadian security officials co-operated with American officials which “constituted acquiescence and tacit consent to the torture inflicted upon the plaintiff.”

Whitling is using the huge claim amount to force a judicial inquiry for what he calls Canadian responsibility in the abuse of Guantanamo detainees in 2011. Whitling claims that the Khadr payout was made to hide Canadian “complicity” in alleged abuses. If the Trudeau government bows to Whitling and calls the inquiry he wants it will undermine one of their key arguments when they made the payout to Khadr.

Liberal MP Steven MacKinnon argued that his government ‘had to’ settle with Khadr. MacKinnon argued that the government had spent $5 Million contesting Khadr’s claim by the time of the settlement and would spend millions more in legal expenses plus the cost of any court-imposed settlement.

The weakness of any claim of fiscal restraint in settling the lawsuit with Khadr was laughable at the time. Calls for an inquiry into Canadian involvement with Guantanamo detainees was easy to predict at the time the settlement with Khadr was agreed to. The cost of such an inquiry will be higher now that Khadr’s case did not receive judicial scrutiny.

Time to Act in The Best Interest of Canadians

The Canadian government should vigorously defend itself in court in response to Whitling’s trojan horse lawsuit. The court system should not be used for political purposes in forcing the government to hold an inquiry. The principle of the government deciding when an inquiry is required should be vigorously defended.

Djamel Ameziane entered Canada illegally by using a fake Dutch passport to come into our country. He received a fair hearing when he applied for refugee status. After his refugee status was denied he left the country and eventually became involved with the Taliban in some manner.

Ameziane is not a sympathetic figure in any way. He knowingly came into Canada illegally. He became radicalized after receiving the full protection of a Canadian refugee system. Ameziane is being used as a pawn by an attorney with an agenda to force a Canadian inquiry into Guantanamo Bay. Trudeau’s government should fight this case on principle, as they should have with the Khadr case.


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  1. This lawyers seems to be as bad as an ambulance chaser lawyer. Not only should this claim be thrown out bu the lawyer should shake his head. His time could be better spent helping actual Canadians who have been screwed over by this Liberal Government!!

  2. The decision to settle with Khadr was not based on the cost of the legal fight, it was based on the certain outcome. Khadr would have won and the settlement would have been far higher. In this case the law suit is not connected to the role that the appellant played but the actions of Canadian authorities. Were their actions legal and appropriate? The appellant offers to drop the suit if an inquiry is held. Why has Canadian support for a torture center not been a matter of inquiry and justice? Why would we avoid holding such an inquiry? Perhaps the appellant has a case.

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Burt Schoeppe

Burt is a dedicated CPA based in Edmonton. When not at work assessing financial competencies he can be found cheering for the Oilers or the Redskins. In terms of the economy, he advocates for fiscal responsibility at all levels of government.

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