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As mentioned earlier, in mid-1990 two members of the Refugee Board declared that Paszkowski was not a refugee under the United Nations Convention on Refugees. They accepted Paszkowski's sworn testimony that he'd bought out his Polish citizenship while in the German jail, noting that his payment to do so was considered a debt owing to the Polish government, and found nothing from the Immigration Minister's side to suggest otherwise. "We find on a balance of probability that (Paszkowski) has lost his Polish citizenship pursuant to renunciation and, therefore, lacks Polish nationality."

The Board decision then went on to find that West Germany was Paszkowski's country of "former habitual residence" within the meaning of the Immigration Act. They discussed his permanent resident status in West Germany granted in August, 1983 and his application for citizenship there in the spring of 1989. Although the second request was not acted upon, they noted that he did receive a West German travel document in late 1989.

A discussion of Ela's difficulties with the SB in Cologne then followed. The Board then seized on the testimony given to it by Nick Maduck and another CSIS employee to the effect that Paszkowski had in fact no involvement whatsoever in Poland with the Polish Intelligence Service. The Board went over what it heard about threats and physical assault to Ela in Cologne by the SB agents, placing considerable stress on its impression that she had not reported the kidnapping to police in Cologne. It concluded that Paszkowski had no well-founded fear of persecution in West Germany. Brushing over the fact that he had already been recognized as a Convention Refugee in West Germany, the Board declared: "...there is no evidence before us that the claimant would have a reasonable chance of being persecuted were he returned to West Germany."

Later in 1990, Karen Granoski, manager of the Immigration department in Edmonton, wrote to the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in the city asking for an emergency travel document for Ryszard Paszkowski "in order that we may effect his deportation from Canada" and "that he be returned to Frankfurt." She quoted the Immigration Act as saying that an excluded person should be removed from Canada to the country of last permanent residence before arrival in Canada. She wrote in this vein despite the fact that Kim Hutchinson, her supervisor of enforcement, had already received a copy of a letter the same consulate had earlier sent to Paszkowski indicating he no longer had the right to live in Germany.

The German Vice-Consul in Edmonton, Holger Fraider, had informed Hutchinson about three months earlier that Paszkowski's travel document could not be extended by Germany because he was no longer a lawful resident of it. According to the Germans, Ryszard gave up his resident status in West Germany when he came to Canada in 1989 for reasons that could hardly be considered "temporary". His German residence permit had therefore expired. At about the same time, External Affairs had informed Immigration headquarters in Ottawa that the German government would provide neither a passport nor residence status for Paszkowski as he had been absent from Germany for more than six months. The German officials had added that their decision was not taken locally.

The months passed into the summer of 1991. Deeply frustrated by its inability to deport Paszkowski to Germany, Immigration headquarters had approached the External Affairs department to lobby German diplomats on the issue. This appears to have gone nowhere.

By the fall of 1991, the Alberta regional Immigration office had switched its hopes to Poland. The acting manager proposed to his head office that it pursue removal to Poland as the only remaining course of action. Assessing the political situation in Poland would be necessary to determine if there were legitimate safety concerns about returning Paszkowski to Poland. Rymes, the acting Manager, also wrote that "we have to examine Section 53(1) of the Act that would allow us to consider removal to Poland in subject's case, even if he were found to be a Convention Refugee under Canadian Law (which he was not). The nature of this individual will ensure that his case remains in the public view for as long as he remains in Canada. The more he remains in the public view, the less patience the Canadian public has with our Department and our inability to remove him. This is compounded by the fact that he has two separate criminal charges pending before the courts, both of which raise concerns about the public safety and order. Taken in the above context, I believe removal to Poland should be our next course of action if legally feasible."

At the end of October, Hallam Johnston, wrote to Ingrid Wilson, Director of Immigration for the Alberta/NWT region telling her that as no further reply from the German authorities had been received serious consideration should be given to the possibility of deporting Paszkowski to Poland. He added that the political situation in Poland had changed since Paszkowski's dramatic escape and requested assistance from External Affairs to approach the Polish authorities to see if they might take Paszkowski back and in providing information on current Polish security activities.

Brian Coleman at the research section of Immigration headquarters was asked at about this time by Gisele Gaudet, Chief of Immigration's Europe Branch, to get a reading on the state of the Polish security apparatus and to check if despite the changes in Poland the sinister aspects of the Polish security agencies continued. The background for the research requested was given and an indication provided that it was to explore the possibility of deporting a Polish national, already found to be a convention refugee by the German authorities, to Poland as his country of birth.

Only six days later, Coleman's research was completed and his report landed on Gaudet's desk. The subject matter was referred to as: "Poland: Would a former member of the Polish Intelligence Service, who worked while in Canada for CSIS, be able to return safely to Poland. Poland today is a state of law," and its government, concerned with image, would not have the new Intelligence Service do something against the law. Although the Polish Intelligence Service would obviously be interested in hearing how CSIS operates, he went on, "they would not force a citizen to tell what he knows or punish him for not telling. Although the Polish people have no liking for former members of the security services," Coleman concluded, "his former employment would not likely interfere with his obtaining ordinary employment. He should have no grounds for concern in returning to Poland."

According to a Polish source, however, criminal offenses during 1990 alone rose by 65%. Break-ins and thefts were at an all-time record. Gangs and international crime rings were operating freely. It was widely-known that many on the police force had connections with organized crime. A number of former SB agents, moreover, were also employed in the police forces. Acts of terrorism with explosives and firearms were also occurring, which was almost unheard of in communist Poland. The SB, moreover, remained a powerful player. Across Poland, there were still more than 24,000 SB employees. This number was further increased by tens of thousands of informants and agents. A number of Poles familiar with the country today have since told me that there is still a real danger to Paszkowski should he return to Poland and it would come from former SB colleagues seeking to settle the score with him privately.

Finally, in April 1992, Paszkowski was asked by the most senior Edmonton Immigration employees to complete what they told him was an application for a Polish travel document. In fact the document in Polish was an application for a Polish passport. He refused, of course, to do so when he read the form.

The briefing note and media lines on Paszkowski's file prepared a month later for Immigration officials said that his removal was being pursued. "If subject does not cooperate with our request to complete the travel document application, we are recommending the use of a Single Journey Form. We expect the cooperation of the Polish authorities." On August 7, however, Edmonton Immigration was advised that the Polish authorities had refused to issue a travel document for Paszkowski because his signature was not on the application. The original applications were returned and kept on file in the event that Paszkowski was ever apprehended and persuaded to sign them.

Paszkowski's most recent detention period began on September 21, 1992 with Edmonton Immigration officials hoping that his removal from the country would be completed soon. "We find on a balance of probabilities that the claimant has lost his Polish citizenship pursuant to renunciation and, therefore, lacks Polish nationality," says the summation of Paszkowski's refugee claim by the Refugee Board in June 1990, something the senior Edmonton Immigration officials decided to ignore in their efforts to deport him.

Three days later, they sent a letter to the Embassy of Poland in Ottawa requesting visas for three escort officers to accompany Ryszard Paszkowski pursuant to his deportation order. Enclosed was a complete visa application for each of the escorts, each officers' passport, photographs, and three money orders for $150 each. A self-addressed envelope, prepared for return by Priority Post was also enclosed. The letter asked for processing of the request as quickly as possible as "Mr. Paszkowski is currently detained for removal."

The itinerary to Warsaw read: "Departure September 27 CP flight via Paris to Warsaw. Return flights are in business class for three escorts and one through London, England. The times and flights are all complete. CIC is ready to proceed with deportation."

A fax dated September 25, 1992 reached Immigration headquarters in Ottawa from Warsaw (presumably the Canadian embassy there) referring to the removal of Paszkowski: "...have been advised by frontier border guards that after completion of background checks and in consultation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paszkowski will be refused entry to Poland. Polish authorities of opinion subject no longer Polish citizen and may have claim to German citizenship. Poles will not accept."

Robert Ferguson in Edmonton told his enforcement supervisor the same day, that headquarters "is telling us to `hold off' on removal temporarily. This was while we thought we might be able to move within a few days. Basically, we want to continue making `tentative' arrangements as we are for Oct. 6. But we do not have concurrence to remove at this time."

A new travel itinerary was prepared for the 6th of October for Paszkowski and three escorts. At about this time, the enforcement supervisor in Edmonton, Kim Hutchinson, requested the assistance of two Mounties to take Paszkowski to Warsaw. "Mr. Paszkowski is a danger to the public and an escape risk," his letter said. "He has been convicted of hijacking a passenger airplane and has escaped from jail." The travel itinerary was included. Travel expenses, including overtime, would be paid by the Immigration department. This proposal collapsed when the Polish Embassy refused to issue visas to escort officers on the premise that Paszkowski had refused to sign for a travel document. Meanwhile, Paszkowski's incarceration continued.

On September 30, a phone conference on the Paszkowski file took place among various Immigration officials. The difficulty with Polish authorities in obtaining a passport for Paszkowski was discussed. It was suggested that a headquarters employee visit the Polish Embassy to enquire, send a diplomatic note, or even call in the Polish ambassador to have him answer why they weren't cooperating. A headquarters officer said his Edmonton colleagues should argue for continued detention based on the fact they were pursuing removal and Paszkowski might disappear if released. The bureaucratic view in Ottawa was clearly that they didn't want any public perception to develop they were being too easy on Paszkowski. To release him from detention on a substantial cash bond would not, however, be considered disastrous.

On October 1, Sylvia Rapaj, an Immigration employee in Edmonton, was informed by her Ottawa headquarters that they were pursuing the option of clarifying Paszkowski's citizenship through diplomatic channels. Rapaj was told to oppose Paszkowski's release on bail on the basis that hectic diplomatic activity was under way.

A draft of a diplomatic note to the Polish Embassy on Paszkowski was sent to External Affairs by Immigration headquarters with a request to submit it in final form to the embassy. The note sought confirmation that Paszkowski formally renounced his Polish citizenship: "...Mr. Paszkowski has not been able to provide a document proving that he renounced his Polish citizenship, and in the absence of such evidence the Minister of Employment and Immigration is required by law to remove him to the Republic of Poland." Headquarters was also attempting to clarify Polish law on the renunciation of his citizenship with Bonn. By November, even the option of sending Paszkowski to the Netherlands as the country of last and initial entry, was also being explored and legal advice sought.

Later, a note went to Immigration headquarters case management from Rob Ferguson in Edmonton about a hearing scheduled for November 12th. It said that Bruce Logan, the Department of Justice lawyer, "expects counsel to argue strongly for subject's release at the next detention review." In discussions with prosecutors regarding people released on bail, Logan advised mid-level drug traffickers are being released on $50,000 security. He considers Paszkowski in the same category. In addition Ferguson suggested they ask Paszkowski (if released) "to represent himself for detention on the 12th. Then we would have him if the court decides against him. Logan does not think Brad Willis would object to these conditions. The above is a judgement call. If we think we can keep him in custody let's do so. Please give this some thought and consult the RHQ (Regional headquarters)," concluded Ferguson.


Chapter 15

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