OTTAWA — A cop on a big-ticket terror investigation told a court Wednesday she was confident her transcripts of bugged conversations were reliable.
Her confidence lasted right up until defence lawyer Michael Edelson started asking questions.
Det. Mireille Clement -- an Ottawa Police officer seconded to the RCMP during the 2010 probe of a suspected domestic terror ring -- took the stand at the trial of accused terrorist conspirator Dr. Khurram Syed Sher.
She said she grew familiar with Sher’s soft-spoken, “articulate” voice after spending hours listening and relistening to stolen conversations between Sher and two other men.
It is on one of those transcripts that Sher is identified discussing bomb-making with other alleged conspirators, in a conversation that also hit on how best to infiltrate CFB Trenton.
Clement, however, was forced to admit that she and a fellow officer had misidentified Sher’s voice in another recording she’d spent hours reviewing.
“It is sometimes difficult,” Clement conceded, and said Sher had a soft voice similar to that of another man on the recording.
“If they’re similar, all the more care and caution should have been brought to the reviews,” Edelson said.
Edelson then asked the Crown to turn over transcript drafts that Clement had worked on. But Clement explained the original files were all shredded.
The court heard Sher was not one of the original targets of what became known as “Project Samossa.”
Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, tipped off the Mounties in 2009 about two alleged terror plotters, one of whom was bugged for months but only ever charged with domestic assault -- and for which he was acquitted.
Neither was Sher listed as a target when RCMP applied for a wiretap in March 2010.
Clement’s cross-examination continues Thursday.