BRAMPTON, Ontario – A provincial court judge denied bail Tuesday to two young offenders charged with participating in a terrorist group that plotted to bomb buildings in southern Ontario.
Details of why justice of the peace Maurice Hudson denied bail cannot be disclosed because of a sweeping publication ban imposed on the court room proceedings.
Hudson denied bail to an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old, the youngest of the 17 people arrested in what authorities said was a plot foiled June 2 to bomb several Canadian buildings. Police said the men had obtained three tons of ammonium nitrate, three times what was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
Officials allege that the suspects were inspired by Al Qaeda, whose leader, Usama bin Laden, has named Canada as one of the top five countries to be attacked.
The news of the terror charges has roiled Canadians, who have widely viewed themselves as immune to homegrown hatred.
Michael Block, the lawyer for the 15 year-old who cannot be named because he is a minor, said earlier this month that the case would show "different degrees" of involvement.
Justice of the peace Keith Currie banned the media from reporting details of courtroom proceedings at the request of prosecutors on June 12. A notice of application to quash Currie's decision was filed last week and media lawyers are meeting with Regional Senior Judge Bruce Durno on Tuesday in an effort to set a hearing on the challenge.
The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Toronto Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are challenging the publication ban.
Canada's Criminal Code allows judges to institute bans against publishing details from court hearings in an effort to protect the suspect's right to a fair trial.
Bans for bail hearings are often granted.
The media lawyers are pressing to have their application heard before Friday's bail hearing for Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, one of the suspects. Ghany's lawyer, Rocco Galati, has said he opposes the ban.
Many of the defense lawyers originally opposed the ban but changed their mind since the start of some of the bail hearings.