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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Alleged spy nabbed by agents in Montreal

CTV.ca News Staff

An alleged spy has been nabbed by Canadian Border Services Agency officers as he attempted to board a plane in Montreal.

The man was taken into custody Tuesday on a rarely used national security certificate because he was considered a danger to Canada for espionage. The man's nationality has not yet been released, but his case is being compared to that of past Russian spies captured in Canada.

The man, who went by the name of Paul William Hampel, according to the The Globe and Mail, was arrested at the Trudeau Airport at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Melissa Leclerc, a spokesperson for Stockwell Day, Canada's public safety minister.

Leclerc told The Canadian Press she could release few details about the case, because it is currently before the courts.

However, she said more information will be released as the case progresses.

Barbara Campion, a spokesperson for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, confirmed the man is in custody. He allegedly arrived in Canada illicitly several year ago.

"A security certificate has been issued under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act against a foreign national alleging to be a Canadian citizen named Paul William Hampel," Campion said.

"He is now in custody in Montreal. This is not a counter-terrorism case. More information will become available as the Federal Court process unfolds. Any speculation about the individual's other nationality is premature at this point."

The security certificate allows Canada to deport non-citizens who are suspected of posing a danger to Canada.

This is the first time Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has approved a national security certificate, and the first time it has been used since 2003, when alleged al Qaeda-trained sleeper Moroccan Adil Charkaoui was taken into custody.

Ten years ago, security officials investigated a married couple in Toronto who went by the names Ian Mackenzie Lambert and Laurie Brodie.

A CSIS investigation concluded they were actually Russian spies named Dmitriy Vladimirovoch Olshevskiy and Yelena Borisovna Olshevskaya. They had taken the identities of two dead Canadian children.

According to reports, Hampel's methods in Canada matched the techniques used by the Russian intelligence agency's Directorate S, which runs the Russian spy network.

The national security certificate system has drawn criticism from human rights activists, lawyers and scholars. The certificates have now been used in 28 cases, almost all involving terrorism or espionage, since 1991.

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