Canada to extradite China’s most wanted fugitive
He was an illiterate peasant who is said to have built a multibillion-dollar smuggling empire with his wits and a gift for cultivating powerful officials at a pleasure palace he called the Red Mansion.
When the central government finally caught up to him, he narrowly escaped and made his way to Canada.
But Thursday a federal judge cleared the way for Lai Changxing, after more than a decade in Canadian courts appealing for asylum, to be extradited to China, where he’ll face criminal charges.
Judge Michel Shore said Canada had received extraordinary assurances that Lai would not be tortured or executed.
Canada does not have a death penalty and prohibits the deportation of prisoners to nations that might execute them.
China also promised to allow Canadian officials to accompany Lai during some legal proceedings.
Lai’s lawyer, David Matas, said the assurances by China were inadequate, noting that his client’s brother and accountant had died in prison without explanation.