Justice minister to review extradition case

Review Canadian citizen facing abduction charges in the U.S. following top court ruling

OTTAWA — The federal government announced Wednesday it has decided to review an extradition case involving a Canadian citizen facing abduction charges in the U.S.

The woman at the centre of the case, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, maintains she retrieved her children after they ran away, but she was charged after her ex-husband reported their three children missing in Georgia in 2010.

At the time of the incident, the woman’s ex-husband had sole custody while she had no visitation rights.

In a statement, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said she decided to reconsider the case due to the considerable passage of time and the possibility new facts have emerged since the Conservative government ordered the woman to surrender for extradition to the U.S.

“I believe it would be prudent to provide both parties with an opportunity to update the record for my reconsideration,” Wilson-Raybould said in a statement.

“I want to acknowledge that this is a complex case — one that is clearly very difficult for the parties involved.”

In November 2012, then justice minister Rob Nicholson ordered the woman be surrendered to the United States, prompting her to seek a judicial review of the decision.

After much legal wrangling, the case eventually ended up being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 4-3 decision, the top court deemed the extradition order was not unreasonable. The dissenting judges did argue, that among other things, the best interests of the children had not been properly considered.

Wilson-Raybould said she will be guided by the top court’s ruling in this case.

“The government of Canada takes its international extradition obligations seriously, and is concerned about the allegations made,” she said.

“I will be guided by the thoughtful analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada and its clarification of the law on extradition in this case.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.