Canada court won't stop arms dealer's extradition

Sun Aug 2, 2009 8:05pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A German-Canadian arms dealer facing tax evasion and corruption charges in Germany lost a last-ditch appeal on Sunday to stop his extradition when an Ontario judge rejected his application for an injunction.

Karlheinz Schreiber, a key figure in a political scandal involving former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, was arrested in Toronto 10 years ago. After fighting extradition for years, he could be deported as early as Monday, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on its website.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in an emergency hearing, rejected a request by Schreiber's lawyers that it block his deportation until Tuesday to allow them to file a challenge to Canada's extradition treaty with Germany, the newspaper reported.

The Canadian government had agreed in 2008 to allow Schreiber to remain in his adopted country until he testified at a public inquiry into cash payments he made to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

That inquiry held its final hearing in Ottawa last Tuesday, and it is expected to issue its report by the end of the year.

Schreiber, who became a Canadian citizen in 1982, testified at the inquiry that he handed C$300,000 to Mulroney so that the Progressive Conservative politician would lobby the government to construct a plant to build light armored vehicles.

He said Mulroney struck the agreement before he left office in 1993 but took the money after he stepped down.

Mulroney has denied any wrongdoing or ethical violations.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty, Editing by Sandra Maler)

 
<p>German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber arrives at the Toronto West Detention Centre in Toronto, August 2, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>