Lawyer slams Ottawa’s naming of war-crimes suspects

Posted by admin on Jul 23rd, 2011

CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2011 8:45 AM ET

A Quebec immigration lawyer is criticizing the Canadian government’s recent release of photos of 30 suspected war criminals. The photographs are displayed on a government website along with the last known places of residence of each of the 30 people. Lawyer Dan Bohbot said it undermines the idea that people in Canada are presumed innocent until proven guilty. He said the federal Immigration Act shouldn’t allow individuals to be labeled without being charged. “It’s a problem because it means that really the Immigration Act makes it very easy for the government to label individuals and make them inadmissible in Canada. So really, you have a situation where a lot of people are found inadmissible or excluded from defintion of refugees,” said Bohbot.

On Friday, one of the people on the list of alleged war criminals was picked up by authorities.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said 44-year-old Cristobal Gonzalez-Ramirez was arrested in Alberta. His last known address was in Edmonton, but he’s from Honduras.

Kenney said Gonzalez-Ramirez belonged to a special army unit there where the alleged war crimes were committed.

“He was excluded from access to Canada’s asylum system because of associations in his past and that’s the decision taken by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada which led ulimately to a removal order which we are in the process of enforcing,” he said.

Kenney said Gonzalez-Ramirez has been a fugitive since his removal order in 2010, and was found based on tips from four people.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the photos were released after Sun Media asked to have the pictures published.

Four ex-Montrealers are among the 29 remaining fugitives the Canadian Border Services Agency is looking for.

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