Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):
Mr. Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for his question. We have to keep in mind the distinction between immigration law dealing with deportation, and refugee status and the extradition process which operates according to treaties between countries.
With respect to Mr. Ng, officials in my Department have been working closely with American officials on this very sensitive issue. A formal request was received on, I believe, November 3, 1987. An arrest warrant was initiated by officials of my Department on behalf of the Americans on November 17. Before the matter came up for a hearing the fugitive made an application for adjournment of the case to the fall of 1988 on the basis that he had not had sufficient time to prepare material for the case. We vigorously opposed this but the court ordered the matter set forward to the fall.
August 26, 1988
I can assure the Hon. Member that the position of counsel acting on behalf of the Americans continues to be that the case should proceed at the earliest possible date. Once the matter is before the courts I cannot comment on it, but as soon as it is received by me in my capacity as Minister of Justice I can assure the Hon. Member it will be given the appropriate attention.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE