Student accused of stealing chemicals released on bail

University of Saskatchewan student Mohamadmahdi Kowsari, who was arrested for allegedly stealing sulphuric acid from a chemical engineering lab, was released on bail on Nov. 29.

The 26-year-old chemical engineering student was taken into police custody on Oct. 23 after Saskatoon Police Service searched his home on the 300 block of Cumberland Avenue North and found chemicals stolen from the university.

A small amount of sulfuric acid was removed from the residence, but according to police there was no threat to public safety.

SPS charged Kowsari with theft under $5,000.

Kowsari was in police custody for over a month following his arrest. Supporters, mostly from Saskatoon’s Persian community, were on hand to celebrate his release.

Following the initial incident, U of S President Ilene Busch-Vishniac suspended Kowsari from classes and banned him from campus. An academic hearing will be held on Dec. 9 to evaluate the situation.

No one was harmed in the incident on campus. However, the lab Kowsari was working in was closed temporarily and swept by a hazardous materials team as a precautionary measure. Classes were not interrupted.

CBC Saskatoon reported that police were tipped off when Kowsari told a university employee he planned on mixing chemicals to harm others.

Details of Kowsari’s bail hearing have not been made public. He is set to appear in court again on Dec. 12.

A press release issued by the university following the incident said any sightings of Kowsari on campus should be reported to U of S Protective Services or SPS.

  • Mike S

    He didn’t tell a university employee, “he planned on mixing chemicals to harm others”, he told his supervisor that he had accidentally mixed (whether true or not) chemicals together that could potentially be hazardous. Get your facts straight.

    • l

      People just want to sensationalize this. If there wasn’t the issue of stereotyping and prejudice, I bet the guy would’ve never ended up in jail.

  • Guest

    It is a little sensationalized, but regardless… what was he doing with university property in his home? Chemicals aren’t always cheap. Even if you didn’t do anything to harm anyone with them it is still theft. And things like sulphuric acid should be kept in a fume hood not in your home… I think they punish these things publicly and harshly to try to set a precedent so that other people don’t try it. I don’t think it had anything to do with stereotyping and prejudice.