About five days after the homicides, an FBI Informant told Detective Gomes of the Bellevue Police that a militant Islamic faction said that Dr. Tariq Rafay should die because of his beliefs and teachings about the Koran. In January of 2003, Riasat Ali Khan - another prominent Muslim who had been a close friend of Atif Rafay's father - was murdered outside his home in Vancouver, BC. Together, Dr. Tariq Rafay and Riasat Ali Khan founded the Canadian-Pakistan Friendship Organization and both had served as its president. Atif initially made statements to police after his parents murder that his mother had said something about Shiite enemies the family had.
The Italian Government
the Rescue !
Despite protests from the federal government, Italy has been given unprecedented access to the Supreme Court of Canada to argue that extraditing two accused murderers to face the death penalty in the U.S. violates fundamental human rights.
On March 23, 1999, CCADP Directors/Co-Founders Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie were invited to meet with the Italian Ambassador to Canada and Italian Senators Melchiorre Cirami and Fausto Marchetti as guests of the Italian Embassy in Ottawa. The Senators were here to speak with us and our government about their concern that Canada should not be sending people to the US to face possible execution.
Seb and Atif In The News
News articles about the case from 1998 to 2001
THE CASE AGAINST THEM RESTS ON
COERCED STATEMENTS AND POLICE MANIPULATION
Sebastian and Atif were 18 when the murders were committed - the date was July 12, 1994.
Sebastian and Atif were only 18 years old when they came home and were horrified to discover that Atif's family had been murdered. After being exhaustively examined and interviewed for several days, during which time they were, at different times, kept separate from one another and from their families and loves ones, they were permitted by the Bellevue Police to return to Canada.
Throughout the following year, the police, apparently with no leads, seemed to fixate on the boys, despite the absence of any "real" (the legal term for "physical") evidence. The media, during this year, seized upon the marketable notion that two bright young boys, with good backgrounds, would commit a senseless and brutal murder. The boys followed their lawyer's advice not to speak to the news media, perhaps deluded that a person can, with impunity, refuse to speak to the press. The police were more than happy to compensate for the boys' silence. After a few months, the police began to promise arrests, explaining that they waited only for the results of forensic tests.
After continuing for nine months to make excuses for the postponement of the "imminent arrest", the police enlisted the aid of the RCMP to help them create some evidence. Two undercover RCMP officers, posing as criminals, became acquainted with Sebastian, made him aware of their criminal activity, and attempted to involve him. They questioned him about the allegations, implying that his guilt would qualify him for their lucrative organization. Sebastian insisted that he and Atif were innocent, adding, with understandable diplomacy, that he had no objections to their activities, but that he didn't think he'd make a good criminal. Faced with a suspect who continued to proclaim his innocence, the police grew frustrated and switched to tactics that left the boys with no option but to provide "confessions".
The "criminals" (undercover police officers) insisted that Sebastian and Atif were guilty and said that they had an informant who knew police information and who told them that the boys would soon be charged and arrested. They emphasized that the boys' immanent arrest necessarily made the boys a threat, as the "criminals" had to assume the boys would become informants, once arrested. Throughout the four month investigation, the "criminals" made it clear that they killed any person, and the families of such persons, who would jeopardize their criminal operations. The "criminals" asserted that the boys would cease to be a threat if the criminals had their informant sabotage the case against the boys by destroying the supposed "evidence". However, they refused to do this without a confirmation of their "inside information" (i.e. a confession), ostensibly so that they could confirm that they knew which evidence to sabotage. Unless the boys cooperated with the destruction of the case against them, by providing "confessions", they were made to believe that they or their families would be killed.
The "confessions" that were finally extorted from the boys were essentially reconstructions from the detailed information provided by the undercover officers. The "confessions" contained absolutely no information that was not made available by the press and police (there was no "fruit from the poisoned tree"). Each boy's "confession" contradicted both itself and the other boy's "confession".
It should be observed that the coercion to "confess" exists in this tactic regardless of whether the suspect believes he will be arrested, as it is the "criminals" who will not be dissuaded from their certainty that the suspect will be arrested. The "criminals" (as per Jackie Brown, and countless other crime movies) will eliminate the threat of being informed upon by killing the untested underling whose arrest is immanent, unless (as in this case) they can save themselves the trouble of committing a high profile murder by sabotaging the case.
Shortly after these "confessions" were obtained, the boys were charged in the US, and arrested pending an extradition hearing. At their hearing, a Supreme Court Justice acknowledged that the forensic evidence was consistent with innocence, but committed them for extradition solely on the basis of the undercover operation. The Crown prosecutor, at the Appeals Court of British Columbia, conceded that the statements were coerced, but in Canada the Crown is not obliged to prove that statements made to undercover officers are made freely and voluntarily for them to be admissible, as undercover officers are not visibly "persons in authority". This technicality, which allows coerced confessions to be admitted, has been eliminated in the United Kingdom where, after several scandals brought the issue to light, this legal loophole was closed and all unreliable, coerced statements are barred. This oversight has yet to be considered by the Supreme Court of Canada and it is not clear that it ever will be. The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from Sebastian and Atif on this issue. One would think that a case that rests on such shaky ground would prompt caution, or at least a review from the Supreme Court of Canada, but that court has chosen instead to consider exposing Mr. Burns and Mr. Rafay to the death penalty.
Write Seb and Atif directly:
King County Correctional Facility
500 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-2332
King County Correctional Facility
500 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-2332
CONTACT THE RAFAY / BURNS APPEAL COMMITTEE
2.2 Article 6 of the 1976 Extradition Treaty between Canada and the
"When the offence for which extradition is requested is punishable by death under the laws of the requesting State and the laws of the requested State do not permit such punishment for that offence, extradition may be refused unless the requesting State provides such assurances as the requested State considers sufficient that the death penalty shall not be imposed or, if imposed, shall not be executed".
In plain english what this means is we have the right to demand that the US will not kill people as a condition before we send them back to face trial.
If Canada were to exercise this right, and demand that no death penalty sentence be carried out, the US has to comply! -as per our extradition treaty . . .