|Marina Talashkova. (QMI Agency file photo)
TORONTO -- A Russian flight attendant snared in the investigation of a sophisticated American Internet vehicle scheme is seeking a stay of her extradition to the United States.
Defence lawyer Tyler Hodgson commenced arguments Tuesday in Superior Court that the constitutional rights of his client, Marina Talashkova, had been violated.
Hodgson asserts that his client’s detention by Immigration Canada last January “constituted an abuse of process and a violation of Talashkova’s rights.
“It was an abuse of process for the Canada Border Services Agency to detain Marina for any purpose other than to administer the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” Hodgson stated in a document filed to the court.
“To have detained Marina to allow the U.S. authourities to prepare an extradition request (as was done in this case), even for one day, was a ‘disguised extradition’ and an exercise of a statutory power for a purpose that is unrelated for the purpose for which that power was granted.”
If successful, her extradition to the U.S. could be stayed.
Talashkova, 24 -- an alleged underling in the multimillion-dollar scam -- was arrested at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Jan. 15 by Immigration Canada “on the offence of theft by deceit” for between $10,000 and $100,000 on charges in Las Vegas in July 2009.
Talashkova requested a return to Russia when she was denied entry to Canada upon her arrival in Toronto, court documents allege.
She was detained by Immigration Canada on the grounds of “serious criminality.”
She should have been allowed to leave at that point, Hodgson insists.
The hearing is expected to last through Friday.
American authorities branded the bogus Internet vehicle scheme as one of the most sophisticated operations to ever target victims in the U.S.