Crown, defence lawyers ironing out peace bond details for Montreal couple

Crown, defence lawyers ironing out peace bond details for Montreal couple

MONTREAL — A Montreal couple acquitted on most of the terrorism-related charges against them are ready to sign off on a peace bond requested by the Crown.

Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali appeared briefly Monday at the Montreal courthouse where lawyers were granted more time to settle some of the finer details of the application.

They will return to court May 4 for a hearing both sides said shouldn't take too long.

A lawyer for Jamali said the couple are ready to submit to the Crown's conditions but are also eager to get on with their lives.

Tiago Murias said it hasn't been easy for the pair given their reputation and that it will take open-minded people to give them a chance, noting his client is working in a restaurant and studying at university.

"They want to turn the page, move on to other things, to work, to be good citizens," Murias said of the pair, who are both in their early 20s.

They were arrested in April 2015 and faced three charges: attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization.

A fourth charge of facilitating an terrorist act was withdrawn against the two.

Last December, a jury acquitted Djermane of all of her charges, while Jamali was found guilty of the lesser charge of possession of an explosive without lawful excuse.

One month later, the Crown asked the Quebec Court of Appeal to overturn the acquittal on the explosives charge for Djermane and order a new trial.

Following the outcome of the case, the prosecution noted the pair remained under various conditions that included reporting to authorities every week, staying away from one particular Montreal mosque, not speaking to anyone in Syria and avoiding social media and any terrorism-related literature.

The new conditions under the peace bond will be less strict than the ones they are currently facing, Murias told reporters,

Murias said the criteria for seeking such a bond — a fear, on reasonable grounds, that someone will commit an offence — make it easy to obtain.

"We're not talking about an elevated criteria here," he said.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press