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TORONTO (Reuters) - Karlheinz Schreiber, an arms dealer entangled in a dispute over possible improprieties involving a former Canadian prime minister, won a delay on Friday in his extradition to Germany to face fraud charges.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario granted Schreiber the stay to give him time to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal of the extradition order. The court ruled after the federal justice department and Schreiber's lawyers came to an agreement on conditions of the delay.
Schreiber, who has dual Canadian-German citizenship, has been fighting extradition since 1999. The latest application would mark his third attempt to have the Supreme Court stop him from being sent to his native Germany, where he faces fraud, bribery and tax-evasion charges.
In Canada, Schreiber is at the center of separate allegations of impropriety involving former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
He made an highly anticipated appearance before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa on Thursday after lawmakers demanded he answer questions about his involvement with Mulroney and related matters before being sent out of the country.
Schreiber told the committee that he had understood that a request to Prime Minister Stephen Harper made through Mulroney to help him avoid extradition had been "well received." His comments appeared to be an effort to drag Canada's current Conservative government into the political storm surrounding Mulroney, one of Harper's mentors.
Harper and Mulroney firmly deny having discussed Schreiber.
By the accounts of Schreiber and Mulroney, Schreiber paid Mulroney C$300,000 in cash during three meetings with him after Mulroney stepped down as prime minister in 1993. The arms dealer said Thursday that Mulroney had promised to help promote a project to build German light-armored vehicles in Canada.
Mulroney denies an allegation by Schreiber that Mulroney set up the business relationship with him while he was still prime minister.