Mom to be ex­tra­dited to U.S on drug charges de­spite tod­dler

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

TORONTO— A Cana­dian woman wanted in the United States on drug charges should be ex­tra­dited even though it means leav­ing her tod­dler be­hind, On­tario’s top court ruled on Tues­day. In up­hold­ing the sur­ren­der or­der, the Court of Ap­peal re­jected ar­gu­ments from Joanna Pakul­ski that Canada’s min­is­ter of jus­tice had made mis­takes. “The min­is­ter con­cluded that the ap­pli­cant’s per­sonal cir­cum­stances and the po­ten­tial im­pact of her sur­ren­der on her child do not war­rant re­fus­ing to hon­our Canada’s obli­ga­tions to the United States,” the Ap­peal Court said in its de­ci­sion. “Her sur­ren­der would not be ‘shock­ing to the Cana­dian con­science or un­just or op­pres­sive.’” Amer­i­can author­i­ties al­lege that Pakul­ski, of Toronto, was in­volved in the cross-bor­der con­spir­acy to traf­fic hun­dreds of kilo­grams of mar­i­juana from Canada into the United States be­tween 2003 and 2007. They say her role was to col­lect cash from sales and bring it back to Canada. In March 2008, Cana­dian bor­der author­i­ties found US$59,540 hid­den in her car. RCMP ar­rested Pakul­ski in June 2010 at an Amer­i­can re­quest and she was or­dered ex­tra­dited in July 2012. How­ever, the Ap­peal Court in Jan­uary last year asked the gov­ern­ment to take another look at her case be­cause she’d had a baby. The gov­ern­ment up­held the ex­tra­di­tion or­der. Among other things, the jus­tice min­is­ter re­jected her ar­gu­ments that turn­ing her over to the U.S. would vi­o­late both her rights and those of her child.

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