Ottawa (Canwest News Service) – The RCMP officer who led the national-security unit that provided false information on Maher Arar to U.S. authorities has been promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner.
Michel Cabana was the inspector in charge of Project A-O Canada, a unit created in 2001 to investigate the alleged links of Abdullah Almalki to al-Qaeda. According to a report by Justice Dennis O’Connor, who oversaw a public inquiry into the matter, the RCMP team supplied information to U.S. Customs officials describing Arar as an “Islamic extremist” with links to al-Qaeda.
O’Connor concluded that the information likely led the United States to deport him to Syria, where he was tortured.
The investigation identified Arar as a “person of interest,” but Arar was never criminally charged and he has denied any wrongdoing. In 2007, the
Canadian government awarded him $10.5-million in compensation for the ordeal.
Cabana was previously a chief superintendent before being promoted to assistant commissioner, according to cabinet documents.
The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.