The Ontario Court of Appeals, the Province's highest court, has held that the widow of a Palestinian terrorist may not recover upon his life insurance policy, due to the fact that her husband failed to disclose his violent terrorist history when applying for coverage. The Court, in overturning the decision of the Superior Court of Justice, ruled that the insured intentionally withheld his criminal past, which was sufficient to establish fraud.
The deceased insured, Mahmoud Mohammad Isa Mohammad, was a Palestinian PFLP terrorist who participated in the hijacking of an El Al airliner in Athens, Greece in 1984, which resulted in death and injuries to passengers, and the destruction of the aircraft. While serving a sentence in Greece for Manslaughter, Mohammad was freed in a subsequent terrorist action.
The insured later emigrated to Canada, but failed to disclose his criminal history and terrorist past on his application; years later when his terrorist history became known, he was deported to Lebanon. After he died of cancer, his widow sought to recover on a $75,000 life insurance policy issued by Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
When the insurance company denied coverage, declaring that the insured's failure to disclose his criminal conviction and terrorist organization membership voided the policy. The appeals court held that Canadian insurance law required him to disclose all material facts in his past, and his failure to disclose his history increased the risk of insuring him.
The complete text of the 7-page decision may be accessed here.