Canadian court stays Lai's deportation
Updated: 2006-06-02 06:09 A Canadian judge ruled on
Thursday to delay the planned deportation of accused smuggling kingpin Lai
Changxing, one of China's most wanted fugitives.
kingpin Lai Changxing, one of China's most wanted fugitives, gestures
while talking to media outside his residence in Vancouver, British
Columbia June 1, 2006. A Canadian judge agreed to delay his deportation
while he challenges a ruling by Canadian immigration officials.
Lai, who fled to Canada in 1999 with his
family, had asked for the delay while he challenges a ruling by Canadian
immigration officials that he would get a fair trial if repatriated to China.
The Canada Border Service Agency has been poised to remove Lai on May 26, but
the judge's order stayed deportation at least until a federal court rules if it
will hear his latest legal challenge.
Federal Judge Carolyn Layden-Stevenson said Lai faced ˇ°irreparable harmˇ± if
deported now, because it was unlikely that China would allow him to come back to
Canada, if Lai eventually won the Canadian court case.
Lai is accused of masterminding a multibillion-dollar operation that bribed
officials and police to avoid taxes and duties on goods ranging from fuel to
cigarettes smuggled into China's coastal Fujian province in the 1990s.
Lai is put under house arrest in Vancouver and has denied wrongdoing.
Canadian immigration officials have rejected Lai's attempts to get political
Canada says it has received diplomatic assurances from China that Lai will
not be executed if returned and convicted.
Canada, which does not have capital punishment, has traditionally refused to
deport accused and convicted criminals to countries where they face