Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Karlheinz in transit to Ottawa: a circus of the Conservatives own doing

The gauntlet's been laid down by the Ethics Committee to the Conservative Justice Minister and the Harper government now that this "Speaker's Warrant" has been issued and Schreiber is now in transit to Ottawa. The spectacle of having to go so far as to issue this historic warrant is remarkable. The Conservatives could have helped to enable Schreiber's appearance, had they so desired, but instead have chosen this hands off route. It's they who are creating the circus-like environment thus far.

A few notes this afternoon...

I found these comments by Pat Martin to be pretty bold and we'll see on Saturday whether the Justice Minister agrees:
Martin said the committee has "vetoed the minister's right" to deport Schreiber until it's finished with him.

"It's our belief our Speaker's warrant has primacy over the extradition warrant. We believe that trumps the extradition order," he said.

"If the minister of justice tried to execute it, he'd be in contempt of Parliament."

A Speaker's warrant is similar to a subpoena and ignoring it could result in a jail sentence.
Here's Martin quoted in the Globe:
“I do expect him tomorrow. I don't know what would stop it now,” said Mr. Martin. “We have the authority of the highest court in the land, which is Parliament. I don't see anything that could trump that.”
Well, thus far the Justice Minister has not concurred and seems to be relying instead on some argument of ambiguity in the status of the law. I have yet to hear an extradition expert weigh in on this, the prevalence of the Speakers Warrant versus the extradition order, and wish the media would get on that.

Secondly, the rushed nature of Schreiber's testimony in this situation where he has had no doubt limited time to review his papers - absolutely normal and required activity for a witness by the way - is creating a circumstance where it is highly unlikely that Schreiber's testimony over one day, with limited hours, will suffice. It would be patently unreasonable to have Schreiber for one rushed day and then Mulroney for up to 3 days. This makes the question of his imminent extradition all the more relevant and perplexing that the Conservatives could continue to push down that road.

It appears that Friday's Ontario Court of Appeal hearing on Schreiber's request for a stay of his extradition order will be determinative in smoking out Nicholson.
Schreiber's lawyers have a Friday morning hearing by the Court of Appeal for Ontario for a stay of extradition until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on Schreiber's latest appeal. That could take three to five months.

Sennecke added that the court hearing is key since it will reveal whether Nicholson intends to issue a stay of proceedings on the extradition.
Sennecke doesn't seem to be too convinced of the power of the Speakers Warrant to override the extradition order, now does he?