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Canadian Couple Found Guilty of Plotting to Blow Up Legislature Allege Entrapment

The couple's lawyers, who have described their clients as drug addicts, not terrorists, allege that their bomb plot would not have happened without pressure from undercover police officers.

by Rachel Browne
Jun 3 2015, 6:40pm

Photo by RCMP/The Canadian Press

A couple from Surrey, British Columbia was found guilty on Tuesday of plotting to blow up the provincial legislature.

After a four-month trial and two days of deliberations, the BC Supreme Court jury declared John Nuttall and Amanda Korody guilty of conspiring to commit murder and possessing explosives for "a terrorist organization," reports the CBC.

Normally, the case would be over. But the couple's fate is still up in the air.

In what news reports are calling an "unusual twist," the conviction will be delayed until defense attorneys are given the chance to argue that the couple was entrapped by undercover police officers during their months-long sting operation that yielded nearly 70 hours of covert surveillance footage, according to Postmedia.

If the argument is successful, Nuttall and Korody could be set free.

The two were approached by an undercover officer posing as a businessman sympathetic to extremist Islamist ideology in February 2013. The cop testified his goal was to determine if the couple really posed a terrorist threat.

Nuttall and Korody, who had recently converted to Islam, were arrested on Canada Day in 2013 and charged with planning to detonate pressure-cooker devices they planted on the legislature lawn. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"The RCMP manufactured this crime, and that is not permissible in our law," Nuttall's attorney Marilyn Sandford told reporters after the verdict was read. "We also have arguments that the police themselves committed crimes. They were involved in exactly the same activities as our clients were."

The couple's lawyers, who have described their clients as drug addicts, not terrorists, allege that their bomb plot would not have happened without pressure from the undercover officers.

But the Crown disagrees, arguing they were motivated to carry out the attack by jihadist ideology.

"They weren't entrapped," the Crown prosecutor told reporters. "It was done using old-fashioned undercover police investigation technique."

The hearing for the entrapment argument is scheduled for July.

Follow Rachel Browne on Twitter: @rp_browne