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Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004

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Globe & Mail

Toronto, Saturday, September 18, 2004


CSIS notes stolen, ex-spy says at Zündel deportation hearing

By Kirk Makin

A FORMER Canadian Security Intelligence Services agent's detailed notes about his experiences at the spy agency were stolen soon after he went public about his employer's shortcomings in 2000, the ex-agent testified yesterday.

Testifying at the deportation hearing of Holocaust-denier Ernst Zündel in Toronto, former agent John Farrell said that both his computer and a collection of hard-copy notes disappeared. He said the loss has left him unable to answer many of the questions posed by Mr. Zündel's lawyers.

The material disappeared from a friend's home where he had left it for safekeeping, Mr. Farrell said.

At the time, Mr. Farrell testified, he was working with former Globe and Mail reporter Andrew Mitrovica to write articles about CSIS not having paid him $72,000 in overtime pay, as well as about dubious practices at the agency.

Mr. Farrell eventually collaborated with Mr. Mitrovica on a book -- Covert Entry/ -- which details alleged underhandedness, incompetence and illegal activity by CSIS.

Mr. Zündel's lawyers -- Peter Lindsay and Chi-Kun Shi -- have been trying to erode the spy agency's credibility as a supplier of reliable information, hoping it will rock the faith of Mr. Justice Pierre Blais of the Federal Court in secret evidence the agency is using to justify deporting Mr. Zündel as a national-security risk.

In contrast to his first day in the witness box, Mr. Farrell frequently said yesterday that he could not recall what lay behind book excerpts.

"It's all escaped your memory?" Mr. Lindsay asked at one point.

"I did have nine years of detailed notes in a computer, but that computer was stolen," Mr. Farrell replied. "I reported the computer because it had money value. The notes, on the other hand, were the property of the government."

Much of the session was consumed by arguments over whether Mr. Lindsay's questions were sufficiently connected to the Zündel case itself. Eventually, Mr. Lindsay gave up altogether and ended his examination.

Judge Blais repeatedly disallowed questions aimed at discrediting CSIS and the Security Intelligence Review Committee in a general way, saying they did not probe directly into Mr. Zündel's treatment by the agency. He also refused to let the defence call Mr. Mitrovica as a witness.

"CSIS is not on trial here," Judge Blais said. "SIRC is not on trial, either. I think this is a waste of time."




Our dossier on the Ernst Zündel case
CSIS intercepted Zündel's mail, ex-agent says
Ernst Zündel is entitled to a hearing to challenge his deportation to Canada, a federal appeals court says
Who is Ernst Zündel and Why Is He in Jail?
Some Good News in the Zündel Case

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