Gustafsen Lake warrior granted political asylum in US wants return home to Canada | Warrior Publications:[via John John) -- James “OJ” Pitawanakwat, 44, has lived in the U.S. since August 1998 when he crossed the border while on day parole in Canada.
The U.S. Federal Court for the District of Oregon denied Canada’s extradition request for Pitawanakwat in November 2000 on grounds his actions in B.C. were “of a political character” and qualified for an exemption under the extradition treaty between Canada and the U.S.
“I would like to go back home to live and come and go throughout Canada and come and go throughout the U.S. without this harassment,” said Pitawanakwat, who is originally from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
He said there is still an active warrant out for his arrest in Canada.
Pitawanakwat was convicted by a B.C. court in 1998 of mischief and possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace in connection to his involvement in an about three-month long standoff which saw more gunfire exchanged between warriors and police than during the 1990 Oka Crisis.
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