Once Again, Karlheinz Schreiber

The ubiquitous Karlheinz Schreiber has lost his latest round of legal whack-a-mole. This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected his application for leave to appeal the most recent court decision allowing his extradition to Germany.

Germany initially requested Mr. Schreiber’s extradition on August 27, 1999. Since then, he has sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada no fewer than five times, and obtained it once (not counting his earlier trip to the SCC in 1998, challenging Canadian assistance to a Swiss investigation). He managed to delay the first court decision on the merits of his extradition until 2004, through an array of preliminary motions, as well as a concurrent lawsuit against Germany itself. After losing at the Ontario Superior Court, he continued appealing for another three years, while also seeking judicial review of the Minister of Justice’s surrender order. He then sought judicial review of the decision of the new Minister not to rescind the decision of the previous Minister. Having at this point struck out at the Ontario Court of Appeal three times, he launched another judicial review application in Federal Court. Finally, he brought yet another judicial review application in Ontario to, in the Court’s words, “reconsider the surrender decision made by a previous Minister of Justice and confirmed by another Minister of Justice.” (This, by the way, is the decision for which leave to appeal was just denied.)

And, of course, even with his latest loss, Mr. Schreiber has guaranteed that he will be around for at least several more months, since the current Minister announced back in March that he would not be extradited until he has participated in the public inquiry on his business dealings with Brian Mulroney.

For sheer persistence, this must win some kind of record. I have to admit, I’d love to eavesdrop on the conversation when our government tries to explain to Germany why we can’t seem to extradite this fellow already.

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