- RPT - Canadian Deportation Process Against Ex-Nazi Oberlander Could Take Up to 2 Years - Lawyer
RPT - Canadian Deportation Process Against Ex-Nazi Oberlander Could Take Up To 2 Years - Lawyer
Umer Jamshaid 3 months ago Fri 12th March 2021 | 11:11 AM
TORONTO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th March, 2021) Canadian deportation proceedings against former Nazi Helmut Oberlander could be prolonged for up to an additional two years after the country's Federal Court ordered a stay of hearings, international criminal lawyer John Philpot told Sputnik.
Last month, Canada's Immigration and Refugee board (IRB) postponed proceedings against Oberlander until March 19, at the earliest, after a federal judge ordered a review, citing the defense's arguments regarding health issues and potential civil rights violations.
"It could take another year or two," Philpot said, noting that the fact the Federal Court of Canada chose to review the case is significant, considering that only 3 to 4 percent of deportation cases are reviewed.
Philpot said the review process could take a considerable number of months after the leave was granted while parties file their briefs. The case, he added, could wind up in the Federal Court of Appeal, should a Federal Court justice rule the case a "significant legal issue," which could exceed the length of the initial review.
If the case was taken up by the Supreme Court, Philpot added, the process could last three to four years. However, he assessed this to be an unlikely scenario.
The veteran attorney said the defense's strategy is to prolong the case until the 96-year-old's death.
Federal Court of Canada Justice Richard Southcott, who ordered the review, sided with Oberlander's lawyers that the procession would have a debilitating impact on the former Nazi's health and that his hearing disability combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could impair his ability to comprehend and respond to the questions. The lawyers also raised concerns about an alleged abuse of process, violations of Oberlander's Charter rights and the ineffectiveness of any judicial reviews if the admissibility hearings are allowed to proceed.
Philpot added that Oberlander's advanced age and numerous reported ailments could make his deportation "problematic." He, however, downplayed the possibility of COVID-19 playing a significant role in the decision, explaining that someone of Oberlander's age has either been immunized against the disease or will be inoculated in the near future.
Philpot also underscored the foreign policy aspect of the case, saying that Canada's poor standing in the international community - citing Canada's failed bid at a United Nations Security Council seat, support for failed Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido and close alignment with US foreign policy - is influencing its effort to deport an individual like Oberlander.
"I think what Canada, maybe, is trying to do is curry favor with the international community by deporting Nazis," Philpot said.
However, Philpot noted that the country's foreign policy-based immigration system is responsible for allowing Oberlander safe haven in Canada in the first place. The international criminal lawyer purported that in the aftermath of the Second World War, Canadian officials either didn't care who entered to country or tacitly abated the admission of ex-Nazis as a means of undermining the union movement.
Federal Court of Canada Justice Richard Southcott and that his hearing disability combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could impair his ability to comprehend and respond to the questions. The lawyers also raised concerns about an alleged abuse of process, violations of Oberlander's Charter rights and the ineffectiveness
While allowing a stay of proceedings, Southcott did throw out a motion from Oberlander's defense team to suspend the hearings until the leave and the potential judicial review of the case are completed, with the justice stating that the application did not meet the "exceptional circumstance" threshold and ruling that the IRB's Immigration Division has jurisdiction to hear the case.
In December, an IRB adjudicator ruled that Oberlander's admissibility hearings could commence in January citing the numerous delays in the case and dismissing the defense's assertions that COVID-19 restrictions could impair the former SS member's communication with his legal counsel.
The IRB had previously consented to a number of procedural accommodations, including attending hearings via teleconference and appointing Oberlander's daughter as his designated representative due to his numerous ailments.
Legal representatives for Oberlander declined or did not respond to requests for an interview.
The 96-year-old Oberlander has been embroiled in legal battle with the Canadian government since 1995, when the latter began trying to strip Ukrainian-born ex-SS member of his citizenship, citing his failure to disclose his links to death squads. After a lengthy legal battle, Oberlander was stripped of his citizenship for the fourth time and final time in 2017 and Canada's Supreme Court issued a ruling last December that blocked any possibility for Oberlander to appeal this decision.
An adjudicator ruled in October that the IRB has the jurisdiction to pursue the deportation of Oberlander, concluding that no abuse of process had occurred.
Additionally, Oberlander faces legal scrutiny in Russia, where investigators say that Oberlander was complicit in the World War II massacre of 27,000 civilians, including orphaned children, in Russia's Rostov region. Federal Security Service (FSB) files obtained by Sputnik revealed that Oberlander, a former interpreter for the Sonderkommando SS-10A death squad, played a role in the massacre.
Russia's Investigative Committee has sent a request to the Canadian authorities to provide legal materials related to the probe of Oberlander's role in the massacre.
However, in an interview with Sputnik in December, the Russian Embassy in Ottawa said the Canadian government did not request documents related to the case and has refused to cooperate despite Moscow's request for legal assistance. The Russian Embassy added that "influential defenders" are working to delay former Nazi's deportation process.