New plans to deport Somali criminal
By DEAN PRITCHARD
June 26, 2010
WINNIPEG – If at first you don't succeed …
Canadian immigration officials will try for the second time to deport Somali refugee and convicted criminal Mohamed Said Jama.
Jama, 40, will remain in custody pending his deportation, expected within the next three months. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada ordered his continued detention Friday, ruling he posed a danger to the community if released and was unlikely to report for his deportation.
Jama was released from federal prison on statutory release in May 2009. He was in prison for a violent home invasion in which he stabbed a man in the face.
An attempt to deport Jama failed last fall. He got as far as Nairobi, Kenya, before safety concerns forced his Canadian escorts to return him to Canada. It was later learned Jama had access to a cellphone while in custody and used it to call family members, who threatened violence if his plane landed in Somalia.
Jama has been in custody since March, when he was arrested on a Canada-wide arrest warrant. Police issued the warrant after he was granted release by an immigration review board member and promptly disappeared.
Jama finished serving the remainder of his home invasion sentence Wednesday.
“Seven years ago I committed this crime but I turned things around and changed my life,” he told a detention review hearing Friday. “I am a different man … I am not a criminal. Why do I have to sit here in custody?”
Jama rejected new evidence revealing he has a criminal record in the U.S. as well as Canada, including convictions for passing a forged cheque, impaired driving and probation violations.
“Someone else's criminal history is here, this definitely isn't me,” Jama said.
Jama has claimed he will face almost certain death if deported to his homeland.
He will appear for another detention review hearing July 2.