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Suspected Spy Due in Canadian Court

November 17, 2006

MONTREAL (AP) _ Canadian authorities said Thursday they would attempt to deport a man who was arrested earlier this week after he was deemed a potential threat to national security.

The man was taken into custody by the Canada Border Services Agency on Tuesday, said Melisa Leclerc, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.

Under federal immigration law, the government may deport a non-citizen suspected of being a risk to Canadian security by issuing what it calls a security certificate.

A copy of the certificate, obtained by The Associated Press, said a man identified as Paul William Hampel had been detained, but it gave no details about his nationality or the accusations against him.

The certificate said the man is suspected of ``engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada.″

Barbara Campion of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service told the AP that the security certificate, which allows authorities to detain suspects who pose a threat to national security without formal charge or trial, was released by the Federal Court on Wednesday.

She said she could not comment further, but added that the man was ``believed to be a spy.″

The Federal Court of Canada said the man would appear in a Montreal courtroom next Wednesday before Justice Pierre Blais.

Leclerc said more information would become available as the legal process unfolds. ``There’s not much I can say, because it’s before the court,″ she told The Canadian Press.

Critics, however, argue the certificate system is unconstitutional because the person named does not have full access to the evidence against him. The Supreme Court of Canada is about to rule on a challenge to the certificate regime and whether it is constitutional.

The certificates have become a flashpoint in Canada’s fight against terrorism, drawing criticism from human rights activists and lawyers. Five Arab Muslim men have been detained under the certificates since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

The certificates have now been used in 28 cases, almost all involving terrorism or espionage, since 1991.

Dmitriy Olshevsky and Yelena Olshevskaya, who went by the bogus names Ian and Laurie Lambert, made headlines in 1996 when they were arrested and promptly removed from Canada. Friends and co-workers were stunned to learn the pair were actually ``sleeper″ agents for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, the successor to the KGB.

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