Search this site powered by FreeFind

Quick Link

for your convenience!

 

Human Rights, Youth Voices etc.

click here


 

For Information Concerning the Crisis in Darfur

click here


 

Northern Uganda Crisis

click here


 

 Whistleblowers Need Protection

 

BETRAYAL


Chapter 15 - RETURN TO ANOTHER LION'S DEN

In spring of 1992, Paszkowski began to feel the increasing pressure from Immigration bureaucrats acutely, not so much for himself, but for Ela. The Immigration department's Rob Ferguson in Edmonton had told her repeatedly that she'd not be "landed" in Canada until her husband was gone. She continues to renew her visa every three months at the local immigration office. Its terms still bar her from even taking a professional or vocational course at any college or institution.

An Information Act request eventually uncovered a `protected' letter from Ingrid Wilson, the Alberta/NWT Director of the Immigration department, dated early 1991 which reiterated her demand that only supervisory staff in the Edmonton office should deal with either Paszkowski. "This is an extremely sensitive case," Wilson wrote, "and I want it dealt with by only your most senior staff." At this point, Paszkowski decided to throw a spanner in the plans to deport him.

In April 1992, I was officially asked to report at CIC Edmonton. The summons could only mean something serious was going to happen. Since the Germans refused to take me, I was frightened Canada might be planning to deport me to Poland despite the fact that I had deserted from Poland during martial law; despite the fact that I had worked for Canadian Intelligence; despite the fact that I had renounced my Polish citizenship while in Germany at a cost of 1200 marks; despite the fact that my wife was recognized as a convention refugee and her case was, after all, based on the merits of my own case; and despite the fact that our son was born in Canada and my wife was expecting our second child. My belief in Canadian fair play and justice had evaporated completely.

I attended the meeting at CIC taking along a few reporters to be prepared and to have witnesses just in case. When I saw Rob Ferguson and Karen Granoski, the office brass, I knew something was cooking. Ferguson put a few pages in front of me and asked me to fill out an application for a Polish travel document. For a moment I was really scared, believing that Ottawa had arranged with Warsaw for my deportation to Poland. After all, Poland was so desperate for economic aid that it might do anything that Canada demanded. I gathered my thoughts, looked at the papers in front of me and said, "Mr. Ferguson, firstly, I can't fill out this application because it is an application for a Polish passport and not a travel document as you said, and secondly, I can't apply for a Polish passport because only Polish citizens can do that and I'm no longer a Polish citizen." I then pushed the papers towards him. Ferguson was visibly upset and disappointed.

The entire episode gave me much to worry about. It looked as if they had progressed in their efforts to remove me to Poland. I was afraid they might, as Karen Granoski had told the media was possible, arrest me and keep me in jail until deportation. They could just put me on a plane quietly and say "bye-bye Mr. Paszkowski or whatever your name is." I had to do something to prevent that from happening.

"Mr. Ferguson," I asked, "would Immigration be satisfied if I left Canada on my own to a country of my choice?"

"Yes, we would prefer that," he said. "We could give you some time to think about this option. Let's say three months."

After this meeting, I decided this was my way out of the present extreme situation I was in. I knew the CIC was working hard and making plans for my deportation. Well, they'd have to change their plans.

I decided to leave Canada for a fairly long period of time. I was aware there was a law that after 91 days outside the country, one could again apply for refugee status in Canada. That would gain me some time because they'd be unable to deport me during the refugee hearings. Also, Immigration didn't want to process my wife's application as a landed immigrant while I was in Canada. Once I was out of the country, she could apply for landed status.

I began preparing for my departure. I was in a hurry to leave before Granoski issued an order for my arrest and deportation. I preferred three months in Western Europe meeting friends to a three month holiday at a remand centre meeting drug dealers and hoodlums.

The only Canadian document I had was a valid driver's license, so I had to get a passport that would allow me to leave the country and later return. They taught us once during KGB training how to go about obtaining false passports, and I had used that skill previously, so it wasn't a problem now. I can't disclose how I obtained the documents to enable me to travel to Europe because, as my life has been full of surprises, I might need to use that source again.

Equipped with my false documents and airline tickets to Europe, I kissed my pregnant Ela and two-year-old son, Patrick, good-bye and boarded a flight from Edmonton to Vancouver. I couldn't leave on an overseas flight directly from Edmonton as my face was well-known to the Immigration and Customs officers. Using a false passport, I couldn't risk being recognized by someone. On May 26th, I left Vancouver for Amsterdam. During the flight I met a Vancouver couple who once lived in Edmonton and we spent the time chatting and drinking all the way to Amsterdam.

Holland is known for its loose immigration procedures at the borders. Never yet has my passport been checked there. I passed through customs and passport control with no problem whatsoever. I parted company with my friends from Vancouver at the car rental counter, then drove to the south of Holland. I stopped at a small hotel to rest and phoned Ela to let her know I had arrived safely and without problem. I also called CIC manager Rob Ferguson to tell him I had left Canada.

To help prove to Ferguson that I really was in Europe, and out of a sense of pure mischief, I decided to send him a carefully selected postcard. Wishing I could be a fly on the wall of his office, I daydreamed about his embarrassed reaction to laughing co-workers when they saw it.

A postcard, postmarked Holland, dated June 22nd and addressed to Ferguson at his office in Edmonton, said "Hello, Mr. Ferguson. You do believe it now, don't you? Regards, Ryszard Paszkowski." The picture on the front depicted a woman's naked breasts with a cluster of colourful tulips bunched in between.

In late May 1992, Ferguson had already written the local departmental adjudicator, G.S. Wojtowicz, telling him that Paszkowski failed to report at the Immigration office as required but he was unable to confirm if Paszkowski had in fact left Canada. Ferguson requested an arrest warrant. A hand-written note dated May 29th by Ferguson with a heading "ref to Paszkowski" said: "At approx. 11am I received a phone call from subject. He would not tell me where he was but the call did have the sound of an overseas call."

In June, Ottawa receives a note that Paszkowski was at the Canadian Embassy in Bonn on June 1st.

In June 1992, my colleague, Danuta Tardif, and her husband, Louis-Paul, were on a private vacation in Paris when they met Paszkowski. They recall the encounter as something out of an espionage novel. Paszkowski called their hotel from somewhere outside France, and said he would come to Paris the next day. He asked them to book a room for him in the same hotel on Rue Chomel on the South Bank under a fictitious name. As fate would have it, Paszkowski forgot the Anglo-Saxon sounding name he was supposed to have and, arriving earlier than their agreed upon time, he couldn't check into the hotel. As he later chuckled, "I couldn't just say to the receptionist, `Excuse me, I have a room reserved, but forget what my name is!'"

They spent half the night talking about Paszkowski's story and his life on the run. Not even a month into his voluntary exile, he had crossed international boundaries in Europe approximately 30 times without any difficulty. He never stayed more than a day in the same place. The strain and stress were apparent on his face. Later, when Edmonton Immigration officials denied Paszkowski had ever left Canada, the existence of various witnesses to his stay in Europe did not impress them. They had simply decided to change their tactics in dealing with his case.

A Canada-wide warrant for Paszkowski's arrest was issued while he wandered the streets of Europe, equipped with a few false documents and very little money. He had been told to contact some Canadian embassy to confirm his identity and to let Ferguson know which embassy it was going to be. Obviously, they wanted to be prepared, knowing full well that wherever Paszkowski was he was using false documents and a false identity - an offence in any country.

For an experienced spy like Paszkowski, trust comes with difficulty and he could see through the plan easily. They would try to entice him to enter some Canadian embassy, lock him up and contact the local police to deal with him, thus ridding themselves of the problem. Paszkowski would be arrested immediately in any European country for entering it illegally and using false documents.

In a memo dated September 4, 1992, Ingrid Wilson of Immigration in Alberta and Northwest Territories Region states; "The CIC is satisfied that he is in Europe."

* * * * *

Immigration officials knew that I would be trying to return to Canada, they just didn't know from which country and when. In order not to process my wife's landed immigrant's papers - which they promised to do if I left the country - they practised unfair tactics pretending I was still in Canada, despite all the interviews I gave to Edmonton journalists from Europe. I also met David Kilgour's assistant and her husband in Paris while they were there on vacation. Immigration in Edmonton told my friend Ryszard Fryga to tell me to report to a Canadian Embassy in Europe and let them know in advance which one, so that they could prepare for me. I guess they still took me for a fool.

In the meantime, I travelled throughout Europe, moving from country to country every few days. I even stopped in Yugoslavia during the war there. I wanted to see for myself what was going on. After being there, I think that all sides involved were equally guilty.

I went to Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia using my, `Western passport,' so I could cross borders to former Yugoslavia without any trouble. Croatia was entered through Hungary where border guards looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to go there. The roads in Croatia were bumpy, damaged by the heavy military vehicles and tanks. One could hear sounds of artillery in the distance and I saw columns of Croatian soldiers marching nearby. It certainly felt like a war zone.

Finally, I stopped in a small town near the border with Slovenia where a Croatian policeman stopped me and checked my passport. He spoke in broken English and German and asked where I was going. We started talking. I offered him a cigarette, Marlboro, a very popular brand in Europe. My package was made in Hungary. He declined saying that Hungarian Marlboro's were not good and pulled out his own package of Marlboro made in Germany. `They are the best,' he said with satisfaction. To me they tasted the same, but I didn't say anything. He seemed to like German things.

We soon switched to a mixture of Polish-Serbo-Croatian and Russian without the policeman realizing it. I asked if Croatia was getting military assistance from the West. He decisively denied it, but admitted to getting financial aid. Pointing to his Smith and Wesson revolver, I asked where it came from? Was it made in Croatia? He jumped as though he'd been kicked and told me to move on. He didn't like my question about his gun which was made in the USA.

Another policeman told me I was lucky to be in Croatia and not in that `barbarian' Serbia where one would be robbed of money and car, or life. I didn't believe him and decided to check for myself. The same day on my way back to the German border, while passing through a small town, I saw a crowded train station. When I stopped to see what was happening, my car was surrounded by people begging for help. The vehicle had West European plates. They turned out to be Bosnian refugees leaving their republic where the conflict between Serbs and Muslims was starting to worsen. Croatia accepted the refugees from Bosnia to show the world how humanitarian it was. The refugees told me they were hungry and mistreated and that their women and girls were regularly raped by their Croatian benefactors. I was also told how one night the Croatian army rounded up all healthy and young Bosnian men to be incorporated into the Croatian army - the same people they officially protected as political refugees. These Bosnian refugees were forced to go to the front lines to face the fire and artillery of well-equipped Serbs. The Croatian soldiers followed behind. Such was the humanitarian help offered Croatian-style to Bosnian refugees. I know it is not written about in the press, but these are facts. I gave these poor souls some of my money and all of my sandwiches, which had been packed for the trip back to Hungary.

A teenage Bosnian refugee asked me if I could smuggle him and his sister to Hungary in my car. Their parents were killed when their village in Bosnia was bombed. They had some relatives in France and wanted to get there. Being a refugee from my own country once, I understood these people well and wanted to help them. It was ten kilometres to the border with Hungary. I told the boy I would go and check who patrols the border and come back the next day so we would know what to do.

The border checkpoint between Hungary and Croatia was on a bridge on a small river. The Croatians did not check me too much, the Hungarians did thoroughly. They were looking for guns and asked questions about them. I had them take a good look. This situation brought back memories from ten years ago when Staszek and I tried to escape from Hungary to a free Yugoslavia and the situation at the border was completely reversed. At the time, the Hungarians were controlling the border so nobody escaped to Yugoslavia from their Communist paradise. Now they tried to make sure that nobody from war-torn Yugoslavia could enter their country illegally. How things change! Hungarian border guards patrolled their side of the river with dogs and used binoculars on the guard towers to look deep into Yugoslavia. Every passing car was checked for guns and refugees.

The following day, I returned to Croatia to meet the Bosnian teenager and his 12-year-old sister. The plan was that I would drive them to a spot near the border, then they would make their way to the river through corn fields. Once they crossed the shallow river unnoticed, they would be in Hungary and could then begin walking in the general direction where I would be waiting. We would then drive to the Hungarian-Austrian border where we would repeat the crossing routine again. Once in Austria, it would be simple to contact their relatives in France who could pick them up there.

After picking up their meagre belongings, we drove to the border. They hid in a corn field and I proceeded to Hungary. I waited for twenty hours in the agreed upon area but they never showed up. They must have been caught by the Hungarian border guards. I hope they escaped from Croatia. Hungarian television was showing thousands of refugees from Yugoslavia entering the country illegally. They were kept in special camps and often granted refugee status. Not so long ago the situation was completely opposite. There were camps in Yugoslavia for refugees from the Communist countries. I never saw the two young Bosnians again.

Remembering the story of the Croatian policeman who claimed the Serbs were such barbarians I would be robbed and beaten if I went there, I decided to check for myself. I hid my money and personal things in a safe place in Hungary and left for the Hungarian-Serbian border early in the morning. The Serb border guard didn't even look at my passport, just waved me through. In the first town encountered, I went for lunch in a restaurant. There I started a conversation with a group of Serbs who treated me to wine and vodka and told me that if I found myself in a similar situation in Croatia, I would be robbed and could consider myself lucky if I escaped with my life. Now I finally understood how they hated each other. I asked them why? They couldn't provide a clear answer. I personally believe the best medicine for Yugoslavia is to stop arms delivery to every party in the war, without exception and enforce the embargo, not only talk about doing it. There was so much talk about embargo in the West and then you have all these weapons and guns from Russia, Ukraine, the USA, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Israel and others. Isn't making business deals the first concern?

* * * * *

Immigration Ottawa Operations Europe sent a telex in late July to the Canadian Embassy in the Hague explaining Paszkowski's case and alerting them that Paszkowski may try to contact them. "We were in process to get Polish document when he declared to have left Canada to avoid deportation to Poland. He was, according to newspaper articles, running all over Europe. He hopes to be sponsored back by wife once she's accepted as landed immigrant. On 22 June 92, subject sent a postcard from the Netherlands to CIC Manager, Edmonton. We have serious doubts concerning his departure from Canada and his wife has been advised that she will not be landed as long as subject has not presented himself to a V.O. (Visa Office) abroad." The Hague replies: "Will keep our eyes open."

In mid-July 1992, Immigration continues to deny Paszkowski left the country. The internal Immigration memo sent to Ian Taylor, Chief of Security Review, for his comments states that the only information in the department's possession concerning his departure from Canada are newspaper articles and a postcard sent by Paszkowski to Rob Ferguson from the Netherlands in June. The memo says the officials at Alberta Regional Immigration office are not convinced at all that he left Canada and a postcard is not proof enough as somebody from Holland may have sent it on his behalf. "As long as Paszkowski is not presenting himself to one of our Visa Offices abroad or has not been identified by one of our officials, his departure from Canada will not be confirmed."

A telex sent from the Hague in late August said: "25 August Person presented himself at gate. Refused to give name or exact reason for wishing to enter embassy. He did mention to be a Canadian citizen. He told receptionist he wanted RCMP to come to gate to speak to him. He was requested again his name and reason. He became aggressive and abusive. He was then requested to leave. He left and returned shortly after. Again he was requested to give his name. He then told us he wanted to hand over two documents and was told to leave them at the gate. Two pieces of paper provided following information: Ryszard Paszkowski, 04MAR55, (address follows). Rob Ferguson, Cda Immigration Centre (address follows)."

An internal Immigration case management branch memo dated August 28, 1992, states: "Hague advises subject attempting to get Canadian travel documents. Passport Office aware. Information from Intelligence."

After Paszkowski's arrest in September 1992 in Edmonton, the Hague, which had received faxed copies of Paszkowski's photo for possible identification, replied that they were unable to confirm, "that person claiming to be Paszkowski who came to Embassy gate on Aug.25 same person as in photo you faxed. Staff who encountered person were too far away to see him well as he was not permitted to pass entrance gate. Conversation was through speaker system."

* * * * *

The long, high white building at No. 7 Sophia Lane in the Hague which houses the Canadian Embassy looked solid and calm. It was surrounded by a six foot high metal fence. Any contact made with the outside world was through an intercom system.

Paszkowski studied the building from across the street for signs of life, preparing to break the tranquillity of his immediate surroundings. He didn't want to do it, but felt he had no choice in order to prove he was abroad. The Edmonton Immigration officials, including Ferguson himself, were refusing to acknowledge his absence from Canada. Just thinking about it infuriated him. After all, it was Ferguson who gave him three months to leave Canada on his own, when deportation seemed imminent and then had asked him to fill out an application for a Polish passport. He was convinced his absence from Canada would allow him to re-apply for refugee status and would also allow his wife's application for landed immigrant status to be processed. Despite Paszkowski's calls to journalists and Ferguson himself from Europe, it was more convenient for his foes in the bureaucracy to simply deny he had left Canada.

Ryszard telephoned Ela in Canada only to learn she had given birth to their second son during his absence. Disappointed, angry and tired, he resolved to contact the Canadian embassy in the Hague where he was least expected to show up in order to provide immigration officials with satisfactory proof he was abroad. He went to an office in a Dutch town where he had a declaration notarized that he "left Canada on the 26th of May, 1992, and arrived in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on the 27th of May, 1992." He mailed the document to the Edmonton Immigration Manager, Karen Granoski, who quite predictably would refuse to accept it as proof of his absence from Canada. It was his hope that this document and his visit to the Canadian Embassy would finally end the games Ferguson and Granoski seemed determined to play with his family and himself.

The intercom sounded a gentle buzzing, and a female voice came on, "Can I help you?"

"I'd like to talk to an immigration or RCMP officer," replied Paszkowski.

"May I ask what it's regarding?"

He briefly explained to her the nature of his visit. The receptionist asked him to write his name, date of birth, address and the name of the person in Edmonton who was interested in obtaining his positive identification abroad. They wouldn't let him in. Apparently, the Embassy in the Hague had not been "prepared" for his visit.

The receptionist watched him through a small window while he wrote out the requested information on a piece of paper and then wave at her. "Throw it through the gate on the lawn," she told him, "and then step back." Paszkowski did as asked and watched the tree-lined avenue as a young woman came out of the embassy building, picked up the piece of paper and ran back. He returned to the fence and again buzzed the intercom. The same woman's voice told him to come back at 10:00 a.m. the next morning, "There will be someone available to speak to you then," she added.

Walking away, Ryszard made sure he wasn't followed and soon disappeared into the picturesque streets of the Hague. He didn't return the following day as requested, but waited until a day later. His training had taught him it is always prudent to foil the plans of opponents.

He parked his car close to the embassy and left it unlocked. Knowing he was in town, they might try something he was not prepared for and he wanted to have an escape route open. As an added protection, he also left his false documents in the vehicle, keeping only his authentic driver's license. When he buzzed the intercom, two faces appeared in the window and he recognized the voice of the same receptionist when she asked, "Can I help you?"

Paszkowski introduced himself. "Just a minute," she said and in a short while he heard the click of the automatic lock on the gate being opened. "You may enter the embassy through the gate which is now open." He realized that as long as he was on the street outside the fence he was on Dutch territory and Canadian officials couldn't touch him. The moment he entered the gateway onto the Canadian embassy soil, he would be on Canadian territory and he feared CSIS agents could arrest him or try some other trick. "I'm not coming in. Let the person who is going to talk to me come up to the gate," he replied.

After a short interval, two large young men in white shirts and ties appeared in the door of the embassy building and slowly walked up to Paszkowski. Now they were all on Dutch territory. Paszkowski instinctively tensed up, removing his hands from his pockets, and waited. "Mr. Paszkowski, you wanted to talk to us. Please come in," said one of the men, while the other one made a grab for his left arm and twisted it.

Reacting instinctively to the unexpected and completely illegal assault, Paszkowski delivered a blow to the face of the man beside him with his right elbow and the agent fell flat on his back. He turned quickly towards the man holding his arm and using the front of his head smashed him hard in the face causing him to drop as if struck by lightening. Furious with their tactics, Paszkowski turned to run from the scene, which had now gathered a crowd of curious staff at several windows of the embassy. He was so annoyed by the Rambo-style attack that before fleeing, he kicked the agent lying closer to him in the ribs. Then he fled, afraid the scuffle might attract the Dutch police.

Back in his car, after cooling off a bit, he analyzed the whole incident. He had beaten two agents, probably CSIS or RCMP officers, yet he was only defending himself. They had no right to use force against him on foreign soil. His retaliation would definitely not endear him to the Canadian authorities, but he had little to lose. They'd been trying to get him out of Canada for three years.

Ryszard decided to return to Canada as soon as possible to continue his battle with the combined forces of CSIS and the Immigration department. He had only himself to put up a defense and he would not give up. Canada was going to be his home - his wife and now two sons were there waiting for him.

Paszkowski pulled the grey Renault into a sharp u-turn and headed toward yet another international border. He was on the run again, but this time he was determined he was not going to run for much longer.

While all the official denials that Paszkowski ever left Canada were taking place, and it was foolish on the part of Immigration officials to under-estimate Paszkowski's ability to cross international borders almost at will, Ian Taylor, Chief of the security review division of Immigration in Hull on September 1st wrote to major Canadian airlines. His letter, giving reference to two aliases, Fisher and Paszkowski, with both dates of birth, was at least to the point:

"Dear Sirs, This is to inform you that Mr. Paszkowski has been deported from Canada and is inadmissible under paragraphs 19(1)(c) (criminality) and 19(1)(i) (deportation) of the Immigration Act. Therefore, under subsection 50(2) of the Immigration Regulations, transportation companies are obliged not to carry Mr. Paszkowski to Canada. Mr. Paszkowski is a convicted airline hijacker subject to arrest, detention and removal if he returns to Canada. He is currently in the Hague, Netherlands, attempting to fraudulently secure Canadian documentation."

The letter briefly outlined Paszkowski's case, gave his physical description and asked for co-operation in notifying all airlines. Taylor, as a senior Immigration official who was well-briefed and had closely followed Paszkowski's case for approximately six years at the time, must have known about the real circumstances of Paszkowski's departure for Europe in 1992. That he could write inaccurately that Paszkowski had been deported might indicate that Immigration officials were embarrassed that their quarry continued to elude them by leaving and entering Canada whenever he wanted. Certainly, they hoped they could keep him out of the country and that it would be the last time Canadians heard of him. The fiasco of attempting to catch him at the embassy in the Hague doubtless prompted Immigration to warn airlines not to let him back in. Little did Immigration officials anywhere know that two days later Paszkowski would walk through the door of his Edmonton home.

On the third of September 1992, I knocked on the door of our apartment in Edmonton. Ela was already home with our new-born son. I was happy to see them all well and angry that I wasn't there for the birth of our second child. I arrived without being stopped at the border, and nobody knew I had returned except for a few close friends. I planned to apply again for refugee status after enjoying a few days with my family trying to make up for lost time and found a new lawyer - the energetic and brilliant Bradley Willis - to help me prepare a course of action.

I learned soon after my return that the Immigration department knew I was "home", but despite the outstanding warrant, no one came to arrest me. Either they were waiting to see what my plans were or they didn't want any more bad publicity (after all, I had been able to leave Canada and return without a legitimate passport), or instructions from Ottawa on what to do were slow in coming. They waited.

A note written by an Edmonton Immigration employee on September 8, 1992, confirmed they had a call from a person, the name blanked out, who spotted Paszkowski on two occasions leaving the Land Titles building in Edmonton. It seems strange that Edmonton Immigration officials did not execute the arrest warrant at the time.

A curious official at the Canadian Embassy at the Hague sent a fax in mid-September to Immigration headquarters Ottawa/Hull asking, "If subject is back in Canada would be interested to learn how he was able to pass through the port of entry."

* * * * *

Approximately three weeks after Paszkowski's return from Europe, Patrick dragged his father by the hand towards the toy section in the large Woolco store in a south Edmonton mall. There was a fire engine he wanted him to buy. Dad, however, was trying to go the other way, wanting to finish his errands and shopping first, so a tug-of-war was in progress. Finally, they left the store and walked into the adjacent, enclosed mall. The clatter of many feet running towards them caused Paszkowski to turn to see what was happening. Eight adults were rushing towards him. One face seemed familiar. It was Edmonton Immigration employee, Kathy Galloway.

"Mr. Paszkowski?" she asked breathlessly.

"Yes," he replied, calmly pulling his boy towards him. She had handcuffs in her hand and moved closer to get them on his wrists. The seven accompanying men surrounded him, forming a tight circle.

"You're under arrest, Mr. Paszkowski. There is an arrest warrant for you regarding an immigration matter," her voice cracked with excitement. Here she was, a junior Immigration employee arresting the famous Ryszard Paszkowski. "Wait until they read about this in tomorrow's papers," she perhaps thought.

Patrick, frightened by the turmoil and strangers pushing at his dad, began to cry. "Could you please handcuff my hands in front rather than at my back so I can pick up my son. Please."

Galloway refused, and one of the Woolco employees carried the screaming and kicking Patrick. They led them to a dimly-lit office at the back of the Woolco store, which contained a desk, a phone and a few chairs. Patrick was almost hysterical by now, and one of the other store security guards was holding Paszkowski by the handcuffs, wanting a share in the excitement.

Paszkowski was mad. He was hardly going to run away and leave his son behind. If he really wanted to escape, this group of would-be arresting amateurs was hardly a match for him. "I could walk over your heads, you bloody fools!" he thought to himself, humiliated by the circus atmosphere and upset by his son's continuing cries. He sat down with his arms handcuffed behind him and Patrick climbed up on his dad's lap, clinging to him desperately.

"Could you please move the handcuffs to the front so that I can hold my son? I'm not going to run away."

"Not in this case," replied Galloway, who was excitedly telephoning the police to come and take charge.

We waited about half an hour, Patrick on my legs sobbing uncontrollably, and me unable even to console him with a touch. I repeatedly asked Ms. Galloway to let me phone my wife to come and get our son and to call my lawyer. She refused for twenty minutes, but then allowed me to make a call. One of the store employees held the receiver for me while I called home and the lawyer. Galloway had an ecstatic expression on her face, as if she was going to receive the Order of Canada for arresting me. She would discover soon that her Immigration bosses weren't happy at all to see me arrested at this point. Their plans to arrest and deport me were not quite in place. Poor Kathy. Her medal wouldn't materialize after all. She had been shopping with her children and recognized me. Being aware of the warrant for my arrest, she alerted store security to approach and arrest me.

The police arrived and our family friend, Ryszard Fryga, came to get Patrick since my wife didn't drive. When Ryszard attempted to take Patrick from my lap, he clung to me desperately until one of the store detectives pulled him roughly away and handed him over to Fryga. The police escorted me in handcuffs through the store, while Fryga carried Patrick, still screaming and crying, in the opposite direction. Never, as long as I live, will I forget the heart-rending cries of my 2-year-old son crying out at the top of his lungs, "Tata! Tata!" Customers looked at me as if I were scum.

Outside, we were greeted with the flash of cameras. The media had learned about the arrest. The local Immigration brass definitely weren't going to like all this publicity. I ended up at the remand centre, being finger-printed, photographed, and so on. On the second day following my arrest, Karen Granoski announced that I would be deported directly from jail to Poland. My lawyer Bradley Willis was doing his best to prevent them from doing just that.

 

Chapter 16

 
Home Books Photo Gallery About David Survey Results Useful Links Submit Feedback