Indian-born Canadian Liberal MP says six months jail for LTTE fundraiser too lax

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Vancouver (Canada), May 15 (ANI): Indian-born Canadian Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh has criticized the country's judicial system for failing to send a strong message of deterrence to fundraisers for terrorist groups when it sentenced an Ontario man to only six months in jail for raising funds for the Tamil Tigers.

Dosanjh was reacting to a verdict delivered by Mr. Justice Robert Powers, of the British Columbia Supreme Court, on Prapaharan Thambithurai, 46, sending him to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty this week to fundraising for a banned terrorist group.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years and does not include a minimum sentence.

"Because this was the first case, because it was about terrorism, because it is so scary. . . I think the sentence could have been tougher," the Globae and Mail quoted Dosanjh, as saying."The court case shows that Canada is serious in stamping out terrorism. But I think we need to do more," he added.

Dosanjh has been threatened and beaten after speaking out against terrorism.

Security and intelligence expert Wesley Wark said Friday's sentence was obviously very light and weak.

"It does not do much in terms of sending a message to Canadian society about the seriousness of the crime," he said. "I don't think in anybody's eyes it could be regarded as a stiff sentence or a sentence that is likely to deter."

Federal prosecutor Martha Devlin described Thambithurai as a low-level street canvasser, and had recommended a two-year sentence.

His lawyer, Richard Peck, proposed a three-year suspended sentence.

Both sides now have 30 days to decide whether to appeal the sentence. (ANI)

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