MONTREAL (CP) — A 19-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to firebombing a Jewish elementary school last year.
Sleiman Elmerhebi’s sentencing came nine months after the fire at the United Talmud Torahs school, a firebombing that provoked widespread outrage, including Prime Minister Paul Martin’s description of the act as “cowardly and racist.”
The Crown had sought a two-year sentence for what it called an act of terrorism.
Elmerhebi said last month he committed the crime after reacting emotionally to what he had seen on TV about the Middle East.
A note left at the school after the fire said the attack was in retaliation for Israel’s killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Both defence lawyer Pierre Poupart and Crown prosecutor Anne Aube agreed the firebombing was a hate crime.
A conspiracy charge against Elmerhebi was previously dropped. He had originally pleaded not guilty to the two charges.
PMO advised Sgro to keep Won on staff
TORONTO (CP) — Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office advised former immigration minister Judy Sgro seven weeks ago to keep her chief of staff Ihor Wons on the public payroll, even though the now-disgraced political operative had tendered his written resignation, The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.
In a letter dated Nov. 23, 2004, Wons, a key figure in the influence-peddling scandal that forced Sgro from office last week, admitted to having “created an appearance of impropriety.” He resigned, “effective immediately.”
After receiving a copy of the type-written note, officials in the PMO telephoned Sgro’s office and advised her to keep him on staff, a source told the Globe.
But at a crisis meeting held later in Sgro’s office — which she did not attend — it was decided Wons had to go. Sgro was torn because of her long association with Wons but agreed.
At the time, Sgro had been under fierce daily attack in the House of Commons over the so-called strippergate scandal.