Canada’s Former Spy Agency Overseer Dies In Panamanian Prison

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Arthur Porter, Canada’s former spy agency overseer and alleged culprit of Canada’s biggest fraud investigation in history, died in a Panama City hospital June 30 at the age of 59.

Porter’s death was confirmed to CBC News by his wife and doctor. He suffered from metastatic lung cancer.

In May 2013, Porter was traveling on a St. Kitts and Nevis passport when he was arrested in Panama on a Canadian arrest warrant.

Porter was accused in Canada of taking part in a multimillion-dollar kick-back scheme related to the construction of McGill University’s new hospital, which he was overseeing.

In January 2015 it was announced that Canada and Panama had reached an agreement on Porter’s extradition, but that never took place. Panama ignored its own extradition laws, and Canada never pushed to have the process expedited. Furthermore, Porter himself resisted the extradition, saying that he feared “being hung out to dry as a scapegoat for this — whether there are things that involve national security that would become an issue, whether I would be treated fairly, whether I would get a fair trial.”

Prior to his alleged wrongdoing, Porter was appointed as head of Canada’s spy review agency by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008. He was forced to resign after the revelation of shady relationships he held with international lobbyists, politicians, and arms dealers.

Porter’s Panamanian lawyer, Ricardo Bilonick Paredes, told CBC News that Canada was “allowed to do in Panama with the constitution and laws of Panama, [that]which they could not do in Canada.”

“If you deny him [his day in court, knowing he has cancer], you might think he would die in the process.”

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