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Mugesera, Jaziri deportations cost $278Gs 0

Dominique La Haye, QMI Agency
Leon Mugesera. (DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/QMI Agency Files)

Leon Mugesera. (DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/QMI Agency Files)

OTTAWA -- Taxpayers shelled out $278,000 to kick accused Rwandan war criminal Leon Mugesera and controversial Tunisian imam Said Jaziri out of Canada, QMI Agency has learned.

Federal documents indicate the deportation of Mugesera on Jan. 23 cost $184,671. He was flown out of Montreal on a chartered plane, accompanied by a nurse and three security guards.

The Hutu hardliner sits in a Rwandan jail, charged with genocide planning, and incitement and distribution of arms prior to the 1994 genocide in which one million people were killed.

Jaziri, 44, was expelled in 2007 after immigration authorities say he lied about a past criminal record in France when he entered Canada as a refugee in the late 1990s.

He was flown out of Canada on a private flight while supervised by four border guards at a cost of $93,583, documents show.

The bills in both cases don't include costs for court hearings which, in the case of Mugesera, date back almost to the time of his arrest in Quebec City in 1995.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said cases like those of Mugesera and Jaziri are exceptional.

"Private aircraft is used ... to remove inadmissible individuals who are a security risk or face medical challenges," said Julie Carmichael.

"This is not a luxury by any means. It is a measure to ensure that inadmissible individuals, such as criminals and terrorists, leave Canada without further abusing the generosity of Canadians."

Lower-profile deportations, such as that of Mexican Paola Ortiz last September, cost only $3,266, according to documents obtained under Access to Information. Ortiz was deported after failing to convince the federal government to grant her refugee status despite claims she faced violence at the hands of her ex-husband in Mexico.

The deportation of Chinese fugitive Lai Changxing to his home country last July cost taxpayers $17,380.

Changxing was considered one of the most wanted men in Beijing for allegedly running a multibillion-dollar commercial smuggling ring in the southeastern city of Xiamen in the 1990s in one of China's biggest political scandals in recent times.

-- With files from Serge Laplante


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