Extradition Appeal Dismissed
The Supreme Court of Canada today refused an appeal by Suresh Sriskandarajah from the Ontario Court of Appeal upholding an order for his extradition to the United States to face charges of terrorist financing and money laundering.
Sriskandarajah is a Sri Lankan former refugee who immigrated to Canada twenty years ago. He was arrested in 2006 as a result of a joint FBI – RCMP investigation and charged in the U.S. with conspiracy to provide material support and resources to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan (“LTTE”), and wilfully dealing in LTTE property.
The LTTE is a designated terrorist organization in Canada and in the U.S. Organizations that are listed entities cannot legally raise money or procure operational equipment or other materials in the U.S. or Canada. Individuals involved in these activities or who provide certain services and support to terrorist organizations are subject to federal prosecution under the Criminal Code of Canada.
With other co-defendants, Sriskandarajah is alleged to have helped LTTE officials buy communications towers, purchased submarine and warship equipment, smuggled computer, GPS equipment and other items to LTTE-controlled areas in Sri Lanka, and conspired to buy almost US$1 million worth of missiles and assault rifles in New York. He is also alleged to have used U.S. banks to launder money for LTTE terrorist activities.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Sriskandarajah wrote several explicit e-mails instructing student couriers on how to smuggle equipment illegally into Sri Lanka for the LTTE, and how to bribe and lie to customs officials and the Sri Lankan Army to get past military check-points. In one e-mail quoted in the complaint, he told students to make up “BS” to get into LTTE-controlled territory.
As a result of this decision, he will be extradited almost immediately to the U.S. As far as Canada is concerned, if, or once, Sriskandarajah pleads guilty or is found guilty of the charges, his status in Canada may be revisited such that he cannot return here at the conclusion of his sentence.
You can read the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada here.