RCMP raid sparks outrage

The RCMP launched a massive and highly unusual search of the home and office of an Ottawa reporter yesterday in a bid to find leaked material in the Maher Arar case.


The raid was condemned by organizations representing journalists.


“I think this is a black, black day for freedom in this country, and I’m absolutely outraged,” said Scott Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Ottawa Citizen.


At 8 a.m. yesterday, 10 RCMP officers arrived at the home of Citizen reporter Juliet O’Neill with a search warrant. Over the next 5 1/2 hours, they searched her house, went through her personal belongings, downloaded her computer’s hard drive and took away files, spiral notebooks, address books and phonebooks. A similar search took place at her office at the Citizen’s city hall bureau.


O’Neill, looking drained, emerged from her house with criminal defence lawyer Wendy Montgomery, who held up a copy of the warrant for a crowd of photographers and reporters.


Police were seeking the source of an alleged information leak stemming from a Nov. 8 story O’Neill wrote on Arar, a Canadian citizen from Syria who was deported to his native country by U.S. authorities after being stopped in New York in 2002.


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