Will Canada Extradite Me to Another Country?

 

Extradition is a complicated area of the law, particularly because it deals not only with Canadian law, but with the laws of other countries.

By definition, extradition is the process by which one country mandates that an individual charged with a criminal offence in another country be sent to that country to face their criminal charges.  The particular circumstances of your case and the evidence against you will determine if you will be extradited.

If you are facing potential extradition, the first thing to do is to review the case against you to see if there is enough evidence against you in the other country.  If there is not sufficient evidence or if there are problems with how the evidence was collected there may not be sufficient grounds for you to be sent to the other country.

Another means of trying to avoid extradition, is to bring a court hearing to try to have the extradition application dismissed.  It is possible that a judge would grant the application and you would not be extradited.  You may also be able to make arguments to the Minister of Justice, as another attempt to avoid extradition.

As you can see, there are a number of different ways that one can try to argue against extradition.  While the law in this area is complicated, this does not mean that an order of extradition cannot be fought.

During the process of arguing an extradition, it is crucial to have a good criminal defence lawyer working with you.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have experience in dealing with extradition cases and would be happy to discuss your case with you.  They will apply their knowledge of the law and their experience with cases like yours, in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Canada Extradition Lawyer: Diab case offers insight into Canadian extradition law

Ottawa Extradition Lawyer: As his legal team prepares for a November 8 extradition hearing, one University of Ottawa professor accused of terrorism links is fighting the validity of international evidence against him.

In a Canadian extradition case, an individual living in Canada is charged with crimes alleged to be committed in a different nation. In order to begin persecution, the other nation in question must prove to Canadian justice officials that the crime is punishable in Canada by criminal law.

In the case of Professor Hassan Diab, whose story has made international news headlines, that nation was France and the alleged crime was involvement with a 1980 synagogue bombing in Paris – a terrorist offence under Canadian criminal law.

Diab’s extradition hearing has been already been delayed repeatedly, due to introductions of new handwriting evidence – some of which has since been discredited and withdrawn.

At a Canadian extradition hearing, the judge decides whether to discharge the defendant, or allow the case to proceed further before the federal Justice Minister. If the Minister chooses to surrender the defendant, the defendant is transferred over to the nation which ordered the extradition in the first place.

At the November hearing, Diab’s lawyer plans to insist that Diab stay in the country, citing a lack of convincing evidence from French authorities.

Extradition charges, in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada, are extremely serious and usually complex. If you are contacted about your possible involvement with an extradition case or international crimes, you should immediately get in touch with an experienced extradition and criminal defence lawyer. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or by email [email protected]

Canadian Extradition Lawyer, Richard Auger

Ottawa criminal lawyer Richard Auger is an experienced extradition lawyer who has assisted people facing extradition from various places in Canada.

What is Extradition?

Extradition is the surrender of one person into the jurisdiction of another country so that he or she can be tried for a crime allegedly committed in that country.

An Extradition Primer

If a foreign country seeks the extradition of someone in Canada, Canada will receive evidence from that foreign country (called the requesting state) to prove that the conduct of the person sought would have been a criminal offence if it had been committed in Canada. The requesting country would also have to prove that the offence would be punishable by two or more years of incarceration if it were committed in Canada (sometimes the potential incarceration must be 5 years). This is called the principal of “dual criminality”.

When this evidence is received by Canada, the Minister of Justice has the individual arrested. Depending on the circumstances, the person may be released on bail or held in custody while he or she waits for the extradition hearing. This is called a “provisional arrest warrant“.

After the arrest, there will be an extradition hearing before a Superior Court judge. An extradition hearing is not a criminal trial and the requesting state is not prequired to prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before the extradition will be granted. Instead, the judge will

satisfy himself or herself that the person before him is in fact the person identified by the requesting state; and
satisfy himself or herself that “dual criminality” exists.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms do not apply fully to the person for whom extradition is being sought. Most significantly, the extensive disclosure rights (Stinchcombe rights) held by persons facing trial in Canada for criminal offences alleged to have been committed in Canada do not apply to an extradition hearing.

The extradition hearing has been characterized as an “expedited process”. The judge presiding over the hearing need only be satisfied that the evidence tendered by the requesting state is enough to establish on a prima facie basis that the extradition crime has been committed.

The judge at the extradition hearing must:

discharge the person, or
order his or her committal to the Minister of Justice.
Where the judge makes a committal order, the person committed can appeal.

It should be noted that the judge presiding over the hearing will look at each count or alleged offence individually. In one case, Richard Auger was able to block extradition on a very serious count of fraud.

Where an appeal of the committal order is unsuccessful or not pursued, the Minister of Justice will determine whether or not to make the “surrender order“. The decision of the Minister of Justice can be subject to judicial review (similar to an appeal).

If the Minister of Justice surrenders the person, and a judicial review is not pursued or is unsuccessful, the person is then surrendered to the requesting state.

If you or a loved one face extradition, you will need an experienced extradition lawyer to assist you. Contact Richard Auger at [email protected] for an initial consulation in relation to your case.

Read about Richard Auger’s successful extradition cases below.

Ottawa Lawyers – For a teenager charged with an offence, legal representation is important

If you are in Ottawa, Eastern Ontario or elsewhere in Canada, you should beware that people often think, incorrectly, that criminal findings of guilt before adulthood have no impact once a person becomes an adult. A young person’s record does not cease to exist just because they turn 18, and if they re-offend before the “non-disclosure period” has passed, their record can be used in court.

Read moreOttawa Lawyers – For a teenager charged with an offence, legal representation is important

So-called “Truth in Sentencing” bill comes into force

Last week, the legislation that eliminates two-for-one credit on Canadian sentences came into force.  What this means is that people convicted of a criminal offence and then sentence do not receive additional credit for time they spent in jail before they were found guilty or plead guilty.

While this new law will appeal to those espousing a  tough on crime agenda, there are some real concerns it raises.

First, the two-for-one credit took into account that the conditions at the detention centres where people are typically held before trial are much worse than at a federal or provincial penitentiary.  Local detention centres are over-crowded, often in poor repair and lack programming.  Spending 6 months in this type of holding tank is much, much worse than 6 months at a proper facility.

Second, there is a philosophical argument that is important for people who believe that the presumption of innocence is an important tenet of our judicial system.  Pre-trial, pre-conviction custody entails detaining someone who has not been convicted of a crime.  In our view, there needs to be recognition of this fact.

Third, it eliminates the ability of judges to treat each case individually.  One of the virtues of Canada’s criminal justice system is its ability to tailor the outcome of a criminal prosecution to the facts of the case.   Tying a judge’s hands is contrary to this important principle.

Fourth, lengthy pre-sentence custody is necessitated by a lack of government resources.  People serve “dead time” because there are backlogs in the courts, not enough judges and court staff, etc.  The removal of the 2-1 in sentencing takes a way one incentive for the Crown and the administration of justice to keep the process moving.

Fifth, there is really no evidence that this move will have any impact on reducing crime.  This is legislation about appearing to be tough on crime.  It is not about reducing crime.

Ottawa Criminal Lawyer Looks Back on 13 Years of Service

Today is the 13th anniversary of my call to the Bar of Ontario.

During my 13 years I have been very fortunate to secure some great outcomes for great people who have had the misfortune of getting caught up in the criminal justice system. Some of the highlights of my career to date include:

  • being counsel on a number of the leading decisions on extradition in Canada;
  • acting as co-counsel for a man who had been convicted of murder on his second trial where a jury acquitted him;
  • having the charges dropped for several clients on major tax evasion cases through Charter arguments and disclosure requests;
  • having fraud charges dropped following preliminary inquiries for several business people in different cases;
  • resolving countless domestic assault cases with no criminal records of conviction for my clients;
  • acting as counsel for a key witness at the Gomery Inquiry;
  • representing Karlheinz Schreiber before the Parliamentary Ethics Commitee and the Oliphant Inquiry; and
  • acting for important political activists who are charged following protests and similar acts of alleged civil disobedience.

While these are just some highlights of the cases I have been fortunate enough to handle, this list serves to me as an important reminder of how lucky I am to be able to go to work every day to help people like you solve potentially life altering problems.

I am humbled and honoured to be able to enter my 14th year of practice as a criminal defence lawyer.  I thank all my clients, past, present and future for allowing me to serve.

Ottawa Lawyer: My Bail Conditions Are Too Strict!

If you have been released on bail, you may have bail conditions to obey while you are released.  These conditions will be printed on the papers the police gave you when you were released from the police station or detention centre.  You should study these conditions and have them on your person at all times.

To avoid being charged with a breach of your bail conditions (which is another criminal charge), you must obey the conditions.  If you have sureties, it is their job to make sure you obey your conditions.  They could lose their posted bail if you don’t obey your conditions.

So what happens if you have a legitimate reason why you cannot readily obey your conditions?  For example, you may have a curfew that requires you to be home by 8 pm but your shift at work ends at 8:30.  If you keep your condition, you will lose your job.  There is a solution in most cases which is to get a bail variation.

Your criminal defence lawyer can try to get you a bail variation when you have a good reason to vary the bail.   Often this can be obtained on the consent of the Crown, depending on the reason for the variation and the nature of the variation.  Sometimes, a bail variation is contested.  A contested variation will require argument before the court and a decision by a judge or a justice of the peace.

In either situation, the variation will certainly take days and may take a few weeks.  As a result, it is very important that you do not leave it to the last minute.  Your criminal lawyer needs some lead time to get a bail variation done.  In the meantime, recall that breaching your conditions could result in additional charges and will almost certainly ensure that your criminal charges will be harder to resolve favorably.

How to get Convicted of Your Criminal Charges

For most people, getting charged with a criminal offence is a nightmare.  All you want is for the charges to be dropped or withdrawn before a criminal trial is required.  No lawyer can guarantee that you will escape from the charges without a criminal record.  However, most lawyers will agree that there is certain conduct that will make it much more likely that you will be convicted.  Here are three tips on what to avoid:

  • Avoid being rude to the police when you are charged or while you are in the cell block.  In many cases, if the Crown lawyer is considering dropping the charges against you, he or she will speak to the police officers on the case.  The accused who was polite and subdued during the arrest and after will have a much easier time getting the police officer to let go.
  • Avoid breaches of any conditions of your release. Negotiations with the Crown attorney go better when the accused person has been well-behaved during the period of release.  If you are supposed to stay away from someone or somewhere, obey the condition.  if you are not supposed to use alcohol, don’t.   If there is a specific reason why you need to do something that your papers prevent you from doing, speak to your criminal defence lawyer, well in advance, to see if a variation of your bail conditions is possible.
  • Don’t quit your job or drop out of school. If the terms of your release permit, keep your job or stay in school and try to do as well as possible.  It is a helpful negotiating tool for your lawyer to tell the Crown that you have been gainfully occupied since the charges.

If you are charged and your lawyer is going to bat for you to get the charges dropped or reduced, avoiding  these pitfalls will make your lawyer’s success much more likely.

Criminal Lawyer Ottawa: The Initial Consultation

Charged with a criminal offence? Take advantage of the free consultation offered by most criminal defence lawyers before deciding how you are going to handle the situation. At the initial consultation, the criminal lawyer will be able to explain:

  • the process,
  • how long it will take,
  • the types of defences that may be available to you,
  • what should be expected in the disclosure and
  • what range of sentence is possible if you were to plead guilty or be convicted of the charges, or any one of them.

Having this information is crucial to making a decision about whether or not to hire a lawyer and fight the charges.

However, at the initial consultation it is unlikely that an experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to tell you if they can get the charges withdrawn or secure an acquittal. At the initial consultation stage, the lawyer will not have the disclosure, which is the Crown’s evidence. Some of the disclosure may be helpful to you. Other aspects of the disclosure may not be helpful. Until the defence lawyer has access to this information, it is unlikely that the lawyer will be able to give you an opinion.

The bottom line? Before you speak to the Crown or plead guilty to your charges, get the basic advice available at an initial free consultation so that you can make an informed decision on your case.