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Friend of the court appointed in terror case

TORONTO - An Ontario judge has ordered that a lawyer be appointed to help the court in the case of two men accused of plotting a terrorist attack on a passenger train.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier, both charged in the alleged Via Rail plot, appeared in court Friday and are scheduled to return on April 14.

The proceedings were under a publication ban so nothing can be published other than that Superior Court Judge Michael Code ordered the appointment of what is called an amicus curiae, which means friend of the court.

Esseghaier has said at previous court hearings, before the publication ban was enacted, that he did not want a lawyer unless the lawyer was willing to use the Qur'an as a reference for the case instead of the Criminal Code.

Jaser, a permanent resident of Palestinian descent who is represented by lawyer John Norris, faces four charges, including conspiracy to murder for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Esseghaier, a Tunisian national who was doing doctoral research on nanosensors in Quebec, is facing five charges, including participating in a terrorist group.

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