环球邮报:赖在加可再呆几个月,以上诉加拿大遣返令

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060601.wLaiChaing0601/BNStory/National/

本周三,女法官Judge Layden-Stevenson聆讯了赖案
一天后的周四,这位法官允许赖继续上诉,这样的话,赖在加拿大又能呆上几个月(months)。
Chinese fugitive's deportation stayed

Globe and Mail Update

Today one of China's most-wanted fugitives was given a reprieve from immediate deportation by Madam Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson of Federal Court.

赖在加拿大可再呆几个月,以上诉加拿大对他的遣返令
The court ordered today that Lai Changxing be allowed to remain in Canada while he launches further appeals of his deportation order to China ― a process likely to take months. In her ruling, Judge Layden-Stevenson raised concerns over assurances that the Chinese government would not torture Mr. Lai should he be deported.

Mr. Lai, who has been accused of running a massive smuggling operation in the port city of Xiamen, has been living in Vancouver fighting deportation for six years. On Wednesday Citizenship and Immigration booked him on a flight to China that leaves Friday.

The 53-year-old former millionaire's defense seemed particularly urgent when last week Chinese officials refused to rule out the possibility that he would be executed if convicted in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters "We will judge Lai Changxing legally and fairly."

Eight other individuals, said by Chinese investigators to have been part of the alleged smuggling ring, have already been executed.

Mr. Lai was scheduled to be deported May 26 but won an appeal hearing by the Federal Court. While remaining under house arrest in Vancouver, his lawyers argued in court Wednesday that Lai would surely face torture or execution if forced to return home.

Mr. Lai's lawyer, David Matas, argued that previous rulings were biased against Mr. Lai because of government pressure to improve diplomatic relations with China by deporting Mr. Lai.

Mr. Lai argues he'll be tortured and possibly executed if he returns to China, despite written diplomatic assurances to the contrary from the Chinese government.

Judge Layden-Stevenson appeared to agree with that in her ruling, saying that there appeared to be no guarantee that Mr. Lai would not face danger or torture if deported.

“The issue of the assurances lies at the heart of the debate,” she wrote. “Absent the assurances, the records disclose credible evidence that a serious likelihood of jeopardy to life or safety exists. Removal at this time would cause Mr. Lai to face the risk that he alleges is present.”

She noted Mr. Lai has not been convicted of any crime, is not on welfare, and is not a danger to the public or a security risk. Judge Layden-Stevenson said “Mr. Lai's interests and the need for fairness” outweigh the government's argument that he has exhausted all his appeals.

But the judge cited Supreme Court of Canada case law that noted that assurances against execution can be monitored, but torture is much harder to verify.

“We would signal the difficulty in relying too heavily on assurances by a state that it will refrain from torture in the future when it has engaged in illegal torture or allowed others to do so on its territory in the past,” the high court ruled in 2002 in the case of Manickavasagam Suresh, a Sri Lankan refugee.

Following this lead, Judge Layden-Stevenson ruled that Mr. Lai's risk assessment process should have looked at “the general country conditions (in China), particularly with respect to torture.”

She concluded: “Removal at this time would cause Mr. Lai to face the risk that he alleges is present and that he argues has not been adequately assessed by the PRRA (risk assessment) officer. I consider that irreparable harm is established.”

Esta Resnick, a lawyer for Canada's federal immigration agency, argued before the court Wednesday: “This is a case of a common criminal fugitive from justice, nothing more,” she said. “He's asking you to reweigh evidence that was already heard before these various courts and tribunals. The public interest favours enforcement of the law.”

Mr. Lai's bid for refugee status has already been denied all the way up the Supreme Court, which refused in 2005 to revisit his Federal Court of Appeal loss.

In 2001, then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien a diplomatic note with assurances Mr. Lai would not be executed if returned to China.

Beijing, in its zeal to capture some 500 fugitive officials abroad on corruption charges, has pledged Mr. Lai would receive a fair trial. Canadian authorities are technically bound by laws that protect refugees from being deported to countries whose judicial systems apply torture.

Mr. Lai has said the accusations that he made billions in illegal smuggling are false and were obtained through torture.

In particular, Mr. Lai is arguing that his former secretary, Tao Mi, recanted her accusations against him and said they were given after she was tied up in a hotel room for two months in her underwear.

Mr. Lai, his wife, Tsang Mingna, and their three children arrived in Canada in 1999 after fleeing China and applied for asylum. They said the refugee board that initially turned down their asylum claim overlooked the nature of political persecution in China.

With files from AP, CP, Bill Curry and Rod Mickleburgh
 
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