July 11, 2016
Former senior official in Saddam Hussein regime ordered deported from Canada
By Stewart Bell
Hani Tawfiq Shaki Al-Naib entered Canada in March 2015, but immigration officials found him ineligible for refugee status because of his past
TORONTO - A former "senior official" in the dictatorship that ruled Iraq until 2003 has been ordered deported from Canada after he turned up in Sarnia, Ont. seeking refuge.
Hani Tawfiq Shaki Al-Naib entered Canada in March 2015, but immigration officials found him ineligible for refugee status because of his past as an Iraqi diplomat in Kenya and Germany.
His deportation was upheld by Justice Patrick Gleeson of the Federal Court, who wrote in a recent decision that he was satisfied with an earlier finding of the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Under Canada's war crimes program, senior officials of regimes deemed to have engaged in gross human rights violations or crimes against humanity violations are inadmissible to Canada.
In 2004, Ottawa designated the Iraqi regime of General Ahmad Hassan Al-Bakr and President Saddam Hussein, which controlled the country from 1968 until 2003, as having engaged in international crimes.
Although now in his 80s, Al-Naib had served in Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1955 to 1978, and then in the Ministry of Trade until his retirement in 1983, the court said.
In Nairobi, he held the position of charge d'affaires in 1974. He held the same title at the Iraqi embassy in Bonn in 1976 and was the most senior official at the post in the ambassador's absence.
At a hearing held in Toronto last month, Al-Naib argued "he was nothing more than a public servant performing non-political and non-partisan duties," according to the court ruling. He also said immigration officials were required to analyze his level of complicity in the regime's crimes.
But Justice Gleeson found there was "ample evidence" he "was not a low level diplomat but rather held a senior position within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs." And since Al-Naib was found to be a senior official in the regime, no further analysis was required, he said.Toronto immigration lawyer Sergio Karas said despite the decision, Al-Naib still had options for avoiding deportation. "Canada has a checkered track record in dealing with these types of cases, as they tend to drag on for years, even decades," he said.