The couple who undercover cops pushed into planting bombs on the lawn of the B.C. legislature on Canada Day 2013 is suing police, the prosecutors in their case, and the B.C. and Canadian governments.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were originally found guilty by a jury in 2015 of planting explosives and plotting to kill persons, but were acquitted by the Supreme Court of B.C. in 2016 after police were found to have entrapped the couple.
On Aug. 29, the two filed a civil lawsuit claiming involved RCMP officers breached the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by exploiting their religious beliefs, conspiring against them and intentionally causing them mental suffering. Nuttall and Korody further claim Crown prosecutors Peter Eccles and Sharon Steele “acted with malice” by deliberately and improperly using their authority.
The governments of B.C. and Canada are vicariously liable as employers of the prosecutors and RCMP officers, the civil suitalso argues.
Nuttall and Korody were living in Surrey when they first came to the authorities’ attention on suspicions of terrorism in 2012. Nuttall was already known to police for a series of unrelated assault, kidnapping and robbery convictions. Both he and Korody had previously endured homelessness and drug addiction, and were living on welfare at the time.
The couple had recently converted to Islam and Korody had been accused twice of “espousing violent Islamic beliefs,” resulting in police being called but no charges being laid.
In early 2013, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service told police Nuttall was a threat to national security and that he had purchased bomb-making material, although it never provided proof to back its claim. Still, police launched an undercover sting to determine if Nuttall and Korody were indeed a threat.
Undercover officers acted as part of a terrorist group and eventually convinced the couple to plant pressure cooker bombs at the B.C. legislature. The bombs contained fake detonators provided by police and did not go off, but Nuttall and Korody were arrested.
They were held behind bars for three years before getting set free.
The two are seeking damages from the defendants for the emotional harm and illness, time spent imprisoned and damage to their reputations the couple say they have endured.
None of the defendants have filed a response as of publication.
-With files from Black Press Media
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BC legislatureBC Supreme Courtbomb threatsBritish ColumbiaRCMP