One of two men from the Calgary area charged with ISIS terrorism can no longer afford to pay his lawyer, the court heard on Friday.
Defense attorney David Chow petitioned to be removed from the file as Jamal Borhot can no longer afford to pay him after the attorney went through the “mountainous” disclosure of the crown for him.
Chow told Justice David Labrenz that he was helping Borhot obtain new legal counsel through mutual legal assistance, but that he could no longer pursue the case.
“Mr. Borhot cannot afford to pay my retention fees,” Chow said. Borhot cannot afford my legal services, so I request that they be removed from the file. “
Defense attorney Rame Katrib, who represents Borhot’s cousin Hussein Borhot, said he had yet to review “thousands and thousands” of pages of the disclosure to see if he could move forward on his client’s behalf.
Prosecutor Tyler Lord said he could provide the file manager to help the attorney review the material, but Katrib said it was inappropriate for a police officer to assist the defense.
The cousins are separately charged with terrorism for allegedly traveling to Syria in support of ISIS.
Jamal Borhot, 31, has faced three charges of participating in terrorist group activities.
35-year-old Hussein Borhot faces the same three charges plus an additional charge of committing a crime for a terrorist group.
Both were arrested last year after seven years detection from the RCMP, Jamal in September and Hussein two months earlier. Both are free against bail under strict conditions.
The Crown filed a direct indictment in February and moved the case to the Court of Queen’s Bench with no preliminary investigation required.
They were supposed to set a trial date on Friday, but both Chow and Katrib asked that the case be adjourned for a month so Jamal can find a new lawyer and wade Katrib through disclosure.
“My client could end up in a similar position to Mr. Chow,” he said of the rising legal bills facing Hussein Borhot.
Katrib said the one-month delay will not result in him preparing for the trial.
“I suggest I need more time to do what is really necessary,” he said to Labrenz. “I need more time to see if I can stay up to date at all.”
The case returns to the Court of Queen’s Bench on May 28th.
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