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Presse - Kanada



Man to face terrorism accusations in Germany

Man to face terrorism accusations in Germany


Friday, September 12, 2003 - Page A11

Yellowknife businessman Lothar Ebke will soon be extradited to Germany to face accusations that he is a former member of a terrorist organization.

The Supreme Court of Canada yesterday refused to hear an appeal of Mr. Ebke's extradition order, marking the end of his legal battle to remain in this country.

"I'm feeling relieved that it's over," he said in an interview. "I mean, it's definitely not the outcome that I would have liked, but at least it's an end for the Canadian proceedings."

His lawyer John Norris said he was "surprised and very disappointed" that the Supreme Court dismissed the case, which he said raises important questions relating to political offences and extradition. "I thought that the current international political climate made this a case that the court should hear, that he raises issues that are going to come up again," said Mr. Norris.

Mr. Ebke, a carpenter who owns a Yellowknife bed-and-breakfast, is to appear in court today to surrender himself into RCMP custody while extradition arrangements are made, a process that will likely take several weeks.

"We'll be working closely, of course, with the Department of Justice and German authorities to facilitate his transfer to German soil," said RCMP Inspector Paul Richards, who is in charge of the Yellowknife detachment.

German investigators allege Mr. Ebke, who is now 49, was a member of the Revolutionary Cells, a leftist terrorist organization that was formed in 1973 as an offshoot of the ruthless Baader-Meinhof Gang. Drawing on information provided by a former member, police believe Mr. Ebke was affiliated between 1986 and 1993.

He is also wanted on allegations he bombed a building and tried to blast away Berlin's Victory Column with his alleged associates, several of whom are now involved in a lengthy court case in Germany.

As well, investigators believe he was involved in planning the shootings of a federal judge and a municipal official, both of whom survived. However, his arrest warrant does not mention the incidents because the limitation period for charges has expired.

Mr. Ebke, who has lived in Yellowknife since the mid-1990s, was arrested in May, 2000, after the German government requested his extradition. Several city residents submitted letters of support to the court, describing Mr. Ebke as a kind and helpful man with a strong sense of community and love for the North.