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Judge rejects federal bid to recoup legal expenses in Muslim charity court case

OTTAWA — A judge has rejected the federal government’s request to recover legal costs it incurred during a major Muslim charity’s court bid to halt an audit of its activities.

In his ruling, handed down last month, Ontario Superior Court Justice Markus Koehnen says the Muslim Association of Canada’s case served a valid public interest, even if it was unsuccessful. 

The association, a grassroots Muslim charity, contends that a long-running Canada Revenue Agency audit of its activities is fundamentally tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia. 

In a decision last September, Koehnen dismissed the charity’s application to halt the audit, saying it was too early to intervene in the federal examination.

The federal attorney general sought more than $220,000 in expenses, while the association said no costs should be awarded. 

In his latest ruling, Koehnen says while the ordinary rule is that the successful party is entitled to its expenses, in this case each party should bear its own costs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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