The man accused of planning the Via Rail passenger train attack is unlikely to get a lawyer who will follow the Quran instead of following the Criminal Code, informed a prosecutor on Monday.
Chiheb Esseghaier, 31, prefers to have a lawyer who follows the Islamic law rather than the law of the state. However, it was told to Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer that it was highly unlikely that he would manage to get such a lawyer. The comment came from Crown lawyer Croft Michaelson who was convinced that Esseghaier was a "self-represented accused" as he insisted on having a lawyer who would follow the Quran, ignoring the state law.
Mr Esseghaier, a Quebec resident, insisted on keeping silence during the brief hearing session unlike his previous appearances. He spoke out only to inform that he was aware of the proceedings at the court. Mr Esseghaier is expected to appear again on Dec 9 for judicial pre-trial along with Raed Jaser, his co-accused. The hearing is going to be closed to the public. The Crown informed that the main purpose of the next session would be to speed up the proceedings.
Mr Esseghaier is insisting on retaining a lawyer who will follow what is called 'Sharia' in the Islamic world. The Arabic word which means legislation. It is the religious law and moral code as suggested in the Quran, the Holy book in Islam. Sharia addressed several topics such as politics, economics and crime. It also addresses more personal issues like diet, hygiene and sexual practice. It is interesting to note that different cultures interpret Sharia in different ways. Sharia suggests following the law of Allah (God) instead of following the human interpretation of it, which is called fiqh in Islam.
On the other hand, most nations refuse to recognise Sharia as a standard to maintain justice in the society. There are certain Muslim countries in Europe, Africa and Asia that recognises the Sharia and use it on a regular basis for solving matters related to personal affairs such as inheritance and divorce. The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal in the UK uses Sharia laws for settling disputes among the Muslims.
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