Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Father accused of abduction could drag out extradition

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A man accused of abducting his two Winnipeg children and fleeing to Mexico could drag out the extradition process for months, a Canadian legal expert warns.

Kevin Maryk took his children, Dominic and Abby, on a court-approved vacation in 2008 but vanished for more than three years. Mexican authorities arrested him and an alleged accomplice last Friday.

The children have been reunited with their mother, Emily Cablek, in Winnipeg.

The August 2008 abduction of Dominic and Abby Maryk -- then seven and five years old, respectively -- led to the arrest of their father Kevin Maryk, 40, and his friend Robert Groen, 41, in Guadalajara Friday. They are jail in Mexico City.

Police in Winnipeg said Maryk will face charges including abduction in contravention of a court order, while Groen faces a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Gary Botting, a B.C. lawyer who's an extradition expert, said an ordinary extradition process normally takes about a year. Extradition is the process by which one country asks another for the return of an individual to face trial or sentencing, Botting said.

However, this case isn't "ordinary," he said.

Botting said it's difficult to say how long it will take to get Maryk and Groen back in Canada, especially considering their Mexican jail likely doesn't meet Canadian standards.

"This might motivate the accused to opt to return to Canada more quickly, where they are more likely to be able to avail themselves of the rights and freedoms that we take for granted," Botting said.

"On the other hand, they may qualify for bail down in Mexico while the extradition is proceeding, in which case they could drag out the extradition process for a year or two," he said.

Insp. Gord Perrier of the Winnipeg Police Service said he's not aware of any charges Groen or Maryk face in Mexico.

A spokeswoman for Justice Canada said Tuesday the government is currently pursuing the extradition of Maryk, and "the process is currently being handled by Mexican authorities."

After almost four years away from Winnipeg, the children were recovered Friday from a home in Guadalajara, where police allegedly seized drugs, weapons and child pornography.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 30, 2012 A7

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