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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Jackie Tran, whose deportation saga began in 2004, had his appeal denied Friday

Jackie Tran, whose deportation saga began in 2004, had his appeal denied Friday by the Immigration and Refugee Board.Tran is "disappointed" with the decision, and is considering taking advantage of his 15 days to appeal."That's something that we're definitely looking at,"said Ram Sankaran, Tran's lawyer.In the latest step of a process that has been ongoing for five years, the board concluded that Tran--whose full name is Nghia Trong Nguyen-Tran -- is a member and associate of the FOB Killers gang, referred to as FK, a factor that was held against him in the decision."His ongoing association with the members of this gang is not demonstrative of rehabilitation. It also undermines the credibility of the appellant and his witnesses' evidence regarding the genuineness of his effort to rehabilitate," reads the decision from board member Renee Miller.Tran denies belonging to the criminal gang, but admits to social contact with members.Tran's family and girlfriend have asked that he remain in Canada because he provides for them financially and acts as a link to the outside world for his mother, who speaks little English.But their pleas did not outweigh other factors, the board ruled."The benefit to the mother and sister in having the appellant remain in Canada must be weighed against the danger to the public, the seriousness of the crimes and the degree of his rehabilitation. Although the appellant himself is not a danger to the public -- as there is no evidence that he has continued his serious criminal activities which are dangerous to the public--his mere presence in Canada creates a secondary danger," wrote Miller."There is a risk that another attempt will be made on his life, while in public, creating a risk to other innocent people."Tran can still appeal Friday's decision to federal court to argue an error was made in law or fact.Tran, 26,was born in Vietnam and came here at 13, becoming a permanent resident of Canada in 1993.Tran has previously been convicted for cocaine trafficking and assault with a firearm.He has testified he started selling crack cocaine shortly after dropping out of Crescent Heights High School, where he met several known gang members, according to a transcript. He denies having gang affiliations, but said he knows people in gangs.The board notes 13 of Tran's friends or associates have either been shot or stabbed, three of them fatally. There have been two attempts on his life.Tran narrowly escaped becoming a casualty in February 2005,when gun-men from different cars shot at him as he left his girlfriend's house.After surviving another assassination attempt in 2007, Tran still refused to co-operate with police --who offered him protection--or divulge any information about the shooters.Although Tran denies ties to gangs, he admitted having dinner with the mother of two identified gang members the night before he testified at his appeal hearing. He also admitted that parents of identified gang members visited him when he was in custody in 2008.Given Tran's admissions and evidence presented by police, Miller wrote: "I conclude that the appellant is a member and associate of the FK."Calgary police say they are pleased with the board's decision."As you know, the Calgary Police Service holds the view that Mr. Tran continues to present a risk to public safety," said Acting Supt. Guy Slater.
"As long as he is present in our community, that risk will be present. We look forward to the day where that is no longer an issue."Slater said because they have identified Tran as a player in the city's gang feud, police are keen to see him out of the country for good."We are committed to ensuring public safety and we are steadfast in our pursuit of those who threaten it."Police and other agencies will continue monitoring Tran's whereabouts. He must abide by conditions placed on him by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Sankaran said his client was"disappointed" to hear of the decision.
"We take issue with certain findings," said Sankaran, pointing specifically to the reference to ongoing associations with gang members and to the police department's gang membership criteria.
Asked how Tran supports his family, Sankaran said the man has worked as a glazier for a few years.Although Tran has been portrayed as a humble worker providing for his family, last fall someone posted a $20,000 bond for his release after he was detained for missing a hearing date.His removal from the country will be carried out by the Canada Border Services Agency once all his legal options have expired."We're committed to enforcing this removal order as soon as possible," said spokeswoman Lisa White.The border agency is also working on a separate deportation order based on his association to organized crime and final submissions are due May 1.


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