Abraham Bahaty Bayavuge, who appeared at an IRB hearing in Montreal on Friday, July, 29, 2011. He was in detention in Ottawa and appeared by videoconference.
Credits: QMI Agency
The Immigration and Refugee Board ruled Friday that alleged Congolese war criminal Abraham Bahaty Bayavuge will remain behind bars while Ottawa prepares to deport him.
Commissioner Yves Dumoulin said that while Bayavuge is not a danger to the public as Ottawa claims, he is a major flight risk since he had hid from authorities for three years.
The married father of six was arrested at his Ottawa home on Wednesday after authorities published his photograph along with those of several other alleged war criminals last week.
Bayavuge is alleged to have been an accomplice to tortures and murders committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 1980s and 1990s. The alleged crimes took place under former president Laurent Kabila and his predecessor, longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, when the country was known as Zaire.
Bayavuge arrived in Canada in 2001, obtained a work visa and was an employee of Air Canada. He later ran afoul of federal officials when he applied for refugee status under a false name. He moved around to avoid capture and at one point was living in Tuscon, Arizona.
In emotional videoconference testimony from Ottawa Friday, Bayavuge said he "never even killed a cat" and that he was simply a computer technician in the DRC. He admitted to fleeing a 2008 Canadian deportation order but, holding back tears, said he had assumed a false name so that he wouldn't be separated from his six kids and three grandchildren in Ottawa.
Canada has denied Bayavuge refugee status and permanent residency and he has exhausted all legal appeals in Federal Court.
Canada says Bayavuge has "no credibility" and is prepared to deport him to the DRC once travel documents arrive from the west African country.
His detention in Ottawa will be reviewed again next Thursday.
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