The federal government has paid a total of $31.3 million in settlements to three men wrongfully accused of links to terrorism and tortured in a Syrian prison, CTV News has learned.
The lump sum was split among Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin. Officials won’t confirm how much of the total $31.3 million each man received.
The three men filed $100 million lawsuits over the federal government’s role in their imprisonment, claiming that their reputations were destroyed and they were left psychologically and physically shattered after the ordeal.
None of the men were ever charged with any terror offences.
All three men were detained in Syria at different times. The first, El Maati, a former truck driver, was arrested in November 2001 after flying to Syria to celebrate his wedding.
The RCMP suspected that El Maati was planning an attack on nuclear facilities in Canada based on a map found in his truck. He never made it to his wedding.
Ottawa-based electronics engineer Almalki was held for 22 months in Syria starting in 2002 after the RCMP and CSIS sent out an international alert starting that he’d been on their watch list.
During his torture, Almalki falsely confessed to being an associate of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. He later retracted the confession and said it was made under the extreme conditions.
This article continues at [CTV News] Feds pay $31.3M settlement to 3 men unjustly imprisoned in Syria