• 04

    April 2016

    Government fights to keep human trafficker in B.C. jail

    Government fights to keep human trafficker in B.C. jail

    KIM BOLAN, VANCOUVER SUN  March 23rd, 2016

    The federal government is trying to keep a convicted sex offender and human trafficker in a B.C. jail pending his deportation to Iraq.

    On Tuesday, an Immigration and Refugee Board member ruled that Maitham Aziz Alzehrani could be released from custody while he fights his immigration case.

    But the Minister of Public Safety is so concerned about Alzehrani’s risk to the community that the government applied for an emergency stay of that ruling.

    The application said “the matter is urgent as the release of the respondent is imminent.

    “Canada will suffer irreparable harm if the motion is not granted as the respondent is a danger to the public,” it said.

    Federal Court Justice Richard Bell issued a temporary stay of the IRB order, but only for a week.

    So Alzehrani’s case will be back in Federal Court in Vancouver on March 31.

    Alzehrani “is a citizen of Iraq with a number of criminal convictions in the United States and Canada,” court documents say.

    He arrived in the U.S. as a refugee claimant and got residency in 1994. He was convicted of domestic battery there in 1997, then of criminal sexual assault in 1998.

    Alzehrani, 44, came to Canada in 2003 and made a refugee claim. The claim was suspended in December 2004 when he was charged with sexual assault.

    “In December 2006 he was convicted of sexual assault … and in October 2008, he was convicted of six counts of conspiracy of organizing entry into Canada relating to human smuggling,” the court documents state.

    Alzehrani’s prison term for his Canadian crimes ended last month. He was placed in “immigration detention, while arrangements for his removal to Iraq are finalized,” a document in the court file said.

    The federal government also said in its application for the temporary stay that it had not yet received a copy of the March 22nd IRB ruling ordering Alzehrani’s release.

    Alzehrani was living in Windsor when he got involved in an international human smuggling ring that was busted by police in 2006.

    He and his cohorts charged illegal aliens thousands of dollars to be transported across the border into Canada in trucks, cars, boats and on trains.

    One young Albanian man drowned after Alzehrani arranged for him and his mother to jet ski across the Detroit River into Ontario.

    In 2009, Toronto Judge Anne Molloy sentenced Alzehrani to four and a half years for human smuggling.

    She noted that he committed his most recent crimes while out on bail for his Canadian sexual assault charge, for which he was later sentenced to 78 months in prison.

    Molloy said that while Alzehrani “has little or no insight into the serious nature of these offences, I do accept … that he feels genuine remorse for the death of the young man on the jet ski.”

    A lawyer for the Public Safety Minister said while in jail, Alzehrani “refused to participate in psych assessments” and was turned down for release by the Parole Board of Canada.


    • Posted By: Kim Bolan
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