PMO says Harper has sent letters to Egyptian president in Mohamed Fahmy case

Stephen Harper reaches out to Egypt over Mohamed Fahmy

PMO says Harper has sent letters to Egyptian president

CBC News Posted: Feb 10, 2015 6:31 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 10, 2015 8:03 PM ET

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said Tuesday he has sent letters to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, although his office would not offer details about the timing of the correspondence.

The Egyptian government has announced a retrial for Fahmy, who is accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood political party and fabricating footage, starting Thursday.

Fahmy’s family responded to the apparent change of position by starting an online campaign on Monday, #HarperCallEgypt, to try and push the prime minister to urgently lobby for his release.

Family of Mohamed Fahmy irked that Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t spoken directly to Egyptian president about his release

Fahmy’s family says Harper hasn’t spoken with Egyptian president, PMO disputes claim

  • Updated
    5:54 pm, February 10th, 2015
  • 5:07 pm, February 10th, 2015

Nicole Ireland | QMI AGENCY

The family of jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy says Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t spoken directly to the Egyptian president to ask for his release, but Harper’s spokesman says the two have communicated.

Speaking with QMI Agency by telephone from Cairo on Tuesday, Adel Fahmy said one of his brother’s lawyers had spoken with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s office earlier in the day and was told Harper hadn’t contacted el-Sissi at that time.

Harper spokesman Jason MacDonald later told QMI Agency the prime minister “has communicated with the (Egyptian) president on this case.”

But when asked when that communication occurred, and whether it was a personal phone call or written correspondence, MacDonald said he wouldn’t go further into the details.

Adel Fahmy said much of the communication between the Canadian government and Egypt has been via e-mail, fax or between spokesmen, but personal interaction is what’s required to get results.

Ottawa’s first 2015 baby is Mohammad Lazim, the fifth child for parents Khalid Lazim and Wadha Mejbel

Published on: Last Updated: 

The search for Ottawa’s first baby of the year had a bit of a twist.

The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus announced that the twins delivered there were the first babies of the New Year.


But it emerged later on Thursday that the twins were not Ottawa’s first babies of the year, but and were actually the second and third births.

The official first baby was born at 12:01 a.m. at The Ottawa Hospital’s General campus. Mohammad Lazim, weighing in at 7.3 pounds, is the fifth child for parents Khalid Lazim and Wadha Mejbel.

MONTREAL: Tunisian Nejib Belhaf-Chtioui arrested for terrorist-related comments

MONTREAL – Quebec provincial police say they’ve arrested a man on terrorism-related charges.Police say Nejib Belhaj-Chtioui was the subject of an outstanding warrant and was arrested Sunday at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport upon returning from Tunisia.Belhaj-Chtioui is expected to appear in court in Montreal this afternoon.

Authorities say he will face two charges relating to the terrorism hoax section of the Criminal Code — conveying information and committing an act to cause reasonable concern that it is connected to a terrorist activity.

The investigation was conducted by a provincial police unit that probes extremist threats.

Hassan Diab can now be extradited to France

Hassan Diab loses Supreme Court bid to halt extradition to France

CBC News Posted: Nov 13, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 12:12 PM ET

An Ottawa university instructor has lost his bid to have the Supreme Court hear his appeal on his extradition to France, where he’s a suspect in a deadly bombing.

 French authorities allege Hassan Diab was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They also claim he took part in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and injured more than 40 others.

Diab, a Canadian citizen, has repeatedly denied the allegations. He and his legal team appealed an extradition order over what they describe as crucial questions about the use of untested intelligence in a criminal prosecution.

In arguments filed with the Supreme Court, lawyers for the sociology instructor say France’s reliance on secret information raises fundamental issues of constitutionality and procedural fairness.

But the country’s top court refused Thursday to hear the application and dismissed the appeal without costs. As is usual in applications for leave to appeal, the court did not give reasons for its decision.

The decision means Diab can now be extradited to France.

CALGARY: Anya Sass can bring her Syrian husband to Canada

CBC News Posted: Nov 06, 2014 10:02 AM MT Last Updated: Nov 06, 2014 10:03 AM MT

A Calgary woman living in Syria says she is thrilled she can finally bring her husband home with her to Canada.

Anya Sass married Syrian-born Habib Alibrahim​ while travelling in the Middle East three years ago.

As violence escalated in Syria, the couple tried to get out of Damascus but was told his visa application would take two years to process.

But this week she received an email that it had been approved after only seven months.

“We feel a big big relief, like a big weight off our shoulders,” she said.

“It’s kind of caught us a bit off guard, and we are going back in the middle of winter. And I guess we will kind of arrive there and work out the details once we get there.”

Sass says they hope to be in Calgary by Christmas.