Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
Section C. Extradition of own nationals
In an annual report issued in 2008 on its Program on Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes, the Government of Canada stated:
War Crimes Program Activities from April 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008
Canada uses a holistic approach in its domestic and international fight against impunity of persons involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. The Program has a broad arsenal of nine legislative remedies at its disposal, including the ability to prevent war criminals from entering Canada through the Denial of Visas Overseas and Denials at Port of Entry; and methods to deal with war criminals already in Canada, using Exclusion; Admissibility Hearings; Removals; Revocation of Citizenship; Extradition; Surrender to International Criminal Tribunals; and Criminal Investigations and Prosecution. …
Remedies for War Criminals in Canada
The War Crimes Program may proceed with any of the seven remaining remedies to deal with war criminals who have entered Canada: Exclusion of refugee status in the context of a refugee claim; Admissibility Hearings; Removal; Revocation of Citizenship; Extradition; Surrender to International Tribunals; and Criminal Investigations and Prosecution.
Revocation of Citizenship
CIC [Citizenship and Immigration Canada], DOJ [Department of Justice] and the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] work closely together in citizenship revocation cases and have several legal remedies at their disposal including criminal prosecution under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act and civil proceedings under the IRPA [Immigration and Refugee Protection Act] or the Citizenship Act. CIC has 18 active modern-day war crimes cases to review for possible revocation of citizenship and one of the cases, Mr. Branko Rogan, is presently before the Federal Court.
The DOJ continues to handle allegations of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide related to the Second World War. During the fiscal year 2007– 2008, 17 Second World War files were under active investigation, 145 initial allegations related to the Second World War were being examined and 74 files have been concluded because the individuals never entered Canada, have left Canada, have since passed away or because there was lack of evidence to justify pursuing legal action.
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration commenced proceedings to revoke Mr. Michael Seifert’s citizenship in Federal Court on November 13, 2001. The hearing concluded on September 15, 2006, with the judge reserving his decision. On November 13, 2007, the Federal Court concluded that Mr. Seifert obtained entry to Canada and Canadian citizenship through misrepresentation and by knowingly concealing his place of birth, his association with the security police and his activities as a camp guard. On May 24, 2007, the Government of Canada announced that the Governor in Council had revoked Mr. Helmut Oberlander’s citizenship. Mr. Oberlander has commenced a judicial review application of this decision before the Federal Court. The Government of Canada also announced the revocation of citizenship of Mr. Jacob Fast on the same day. Due to the passage of time, the age and availability of witnesses and the challenges of gathering evidence, criminal prosecution is no longer a viable remedy for Second World War cases.
Extradition and Surrender to International Criminal Tribunals
In 1999, the Extradition Act was amended to allow Canada to enter into agreements with other countries for extradition on a case-by-case basis and to allow for surrender of Canadians to international tribunals …
Italy requested the extradition of Michael Seifert, who was convicted in absentia
by an Italian Military Tribunal in November 2000 for war crimes related to the Second World War. Mr. Seifert was surrendered to Italy in February 2008. Citizenship revocation proceedings against Mr. Seifert are ongoing.
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