The allegations surfaced in court after Peshdary, arrested in 2015 following an RCMP counter-terrorism operation, applied to be released from custody to await the remainder of his trial.
According to the court documents, inmate Darren Pearce made “serious allegations” about the influence wielded by Peshdary at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where both are held.
Pearce, who faces attempted murder and other charges, has alleged he was assaulted because of the way he responded when Peshdary told him he could not drink while Muslims observed Ramadan.
During a March 3, 2020, debriefing, Pearce also alleged that “Peshdary is the ‘Don’ and has influence throughout the jail,” and “makes decisions as to whether someone should be ‘bounced’ from the unit,” the court documents say.
The allegations were brought forward by the Crown in advance of Peshdary’s bail review hearing.
Pearce declined an interview request.
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Solomon Friedman, Peshdary’s lawyer, also declined to comment. But in an application filed in court on June 11, Friedman wrote that Pearce was “a career criminal.”
Pearce has a “lengthy and serious criminal record” that includes convictions for break and enter, resisting arrest, escaping from custody, unauthorized possession of a firearm and robbery, it said.
He is awaiting trial for attempted murder over the alleged beating of a man last year. He is also charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, robbery with violence and uttering threats.
“The disclosed reports also reveal that Mr. Pearce has attempted to smuggle contraband into the jail, has made homemade alcohol in the jail and has concealed make-shift weapons, including a shank and a razorblade,” it said.
“He is a jailhouse informant,” according to the notice of application filed by Friedman, who is seeking the release of incident reports concerning allegations involving Pearce’s own conduct at the detention facility.
Almost 100 Canadians are believed to have been active in terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Many have died and others are being held by Kurdish forces in northeast Syria.
The RCMP has alleged the Iraq-born former Algonquin College activist, who worked at an Ottawa big box store, provided “financial support” to help recruits travel to Syria.
But the case has dragged on due to arguments over whether Peshdary should have access to classified materials from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s investigation.
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