May 31, 2013 10:51 am

Lawyer calls Arthur Porter’s arrest in Panama ‘terrible’


MONTREAL – A lawyer for the former head of the watchdog for C-SIS says his client is going to fight a bid to fly him back to Canada to face charges.

Ricardo Bilonick says Dr. Arthur Porter will also try to get released on bail from a jail in Panama where he was arrested on an Interpol warrant.

Bilonick told a reporter from The Gazette that he considered the arrest of Porter “terrible.”

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“The papers filed by Canada are very skimpy, they just cite articles of the Canadian penal code and have not presented any proof of allegations as to his involvement in the crimes that are attributed to him,” he said.

“I feel that it’s terrible that a person can be arrested just by saying that I think someone has violated article such and such of the penal code.”

Porter, who lives in the Bahamas, has been wanted for months in connection with Quebec’s ongoing corruption scandals and the construction of a 1.3-billion dollar hospital complex.

His wife faces a related charge.

Porter, who was appointed by Prime Minister Harper to head the agency that monitors Canada’s spy agency, saying he’s done nothing wrong.

Bilonick says the Canadian extradition request is poorly formulated.

“I find it very superficial, to say the least.”

He plans to ask a judge for bail next week, a process that could take a few days or even a couple of weeks.

If the Porters are released on bail, he said they would have to stay in Panama until their extradition proceedings have been completed.


© 2013 The Canadian Press

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