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International Law - Extradition and criminal mutual legal assistance - Bars to extradition - Ability to prosecute in Canada

Thursday, September 01, 2016 @ 8:00 PM  

Appeal and judicial review of an extradition committal order and Ministerial order of surrender. The United States sought the extradition of the appellant, Virdi, for sentencing for failure to report export of a monetary instrument and failure to appear in court for his sentencing. The Record of the Case stated that the appellant and Cheema crossed the border from the United States into Canada by vehicle in 2003. They told the customs inspector that they had no cash. They were referred for a secondary inspection and $99,000 was found hidden in the sunroof, and $47,000 was found in Cheema’s pockets. The monies were forfeited under Canadian legislation. The appellant and Cheema were indicted under US legislation. In 2007, the appellant was arrested attempting to enter the United States. In 2008, he pled guilty to the outstanding offence and signed a plea agreement. He subsequently resiled from the agreement in breach of his appearance bond and failed to appear for sentencing. The appellant took the position he was coerced into the plea agreement and maintained his innocence. The extradition judge found that the Record of the Case supported the requirements for committal. The Minister ordered the appellant’s surrender. Virdi appealed and sought judicial review.

HELD: Appeal and application dismissed. The appellant appropriately conceded that the extradition judge made no reviewable error in the decision to commit him for sentencing on the currency offence. To the extent the appellant was able to claim he did not receive notice of the date of sentencing, it was a potential defence to the failure to appear charge rather than a basis for opposing committal. The delay in the proceedings was not sufficiently severe to justify refusal to surrender. The exportation offence was, by its nature, a transnational crime. The US had jurisdiction to prosecute the appellant for the offence and the appellant attorned to that jurisdiction. The appellant’s Charter right to remain in Canada was of little relevance to a sentencing following a plea of guilty in another jurisdiction. The extradition request fell within the terms of the Treaty. The appellant failed to establish the order for surrender was unreasonable, or would be unjust or oppressive.