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Ottawa can free potato farmer says lawyer


December 14, 2011
By The Canadian Press

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December 14, 2011, Beirut
– The lawyer for a New Brunswick farmer sitting in a Lebanese jail for nine
months says Ottawa holds the key to his client’s freedom.

December 14, 2011, Beirut
– The lawyer for a New Brunswick farmer sitting in a Lebanese jail for nine
months says Ottawa holds the key to his client’s freedom.

Jim Mockler says he met
with the Lebanese justice minister Dec. 12 in Beirut and
discussed Henk Tepper’s incarceration.

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He says the minister told
him he needs a request from the Canadian government to send Tepper home.

Mockler said a decision by
the Lebanese justice minister to release the New Brunswick farmer would be
subject to approval by the Lebanese president and prime minister.

The 44-year-old farmer is
in jail on an international arrest warrant over allegations that potatoes he
exported to Algeria in 2007 were rotten.

Algeria alleges that
Tepper forged documents related to the export of potatoes from Quebec and
Prince Edward Island.

Tepper’s lawyers have
denied the allegation, saying the potatoes were inspected in Canada before
shipment and met Algerian standards.

Supporters of the jailed
farmer have been calling on the federal government to intervene and seek his
release.

The government’s response
has been that it does not interfere with the judicial process of other
countries.


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