Toronto Star - 30 mei 2001 - Elaine O'Connor STAFF REPORTER,
U.S. fugitive arrested at gunpoint :
Posed threat to Scientologists, court had found :
An American fugitive who was found by a court to have posed a threat to the Church of Scientology has been arrested in Oakville and charged with failing to disclose a criminal conviction to Canadian authorities. Keith Henson, 58, is being held in the Metro West Detention Centre and faces a mandatory detention hearing tomorrow, said Dominique Forget, a spokesperson for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. In April, he was convicted of interfering with a religion - a misdemeanour hate crime in California - after he picketed Scientology's Golden Era Studios, a desert compound east of Los Angeles. He faces up to one year in jail. Henson was arrested Monday afternoon on an immigration warrant by members of the Halton Region police emergency task force and the Toronto police fugitive squad. Detective Phil Glavin of the fugitive squad said seven officers arrested the self-proclaimed free-speech activist at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Oakville Place shopping centre while he was with Gregg Hagglund, a friend. Henson entered Canada at Pearson International Airport on May 12, and failed to report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada that he had a criminal conviction in the U.S. - a violation of the Immigration Act, Glavin said. The engineer stayed in Oakville with Hagglund and missed a May 16 sentencing hearing in Hemet, Calif., Henson's wife, Arel Lucas, said. Robert Schwarz, the deputy district attorney for Riverside County who handled the case, said in a phone interview that if Henson returns to California he will be charged with failing to appear in court, which comes with a maximum jail term of six months. He said Henson not only picketed the Scientologists but followed the organization's buses and posted bomb threats on Scientology's Internet newsgroups. Henson's wife disagreed. In a phone interview from Palo Alto, Calif., Lucas said Henson has been working to expose the Church of Scientology - which he believes is a crime syndicate - for five years and he is being targeted by the group. "There are a lot of irregularities of the case that will bear investigation,'' Lucas said. "Many, many things about this case were very strange,'' she said, adding that her husband plans to apply for refugee status in Canada because the couple believes his life would be in danger if he's incarcerated in the U.S. Rob Polton of Mamann ; Associates, the Toronto law firm that will represent Henson at the detention hearing, said he did not believe Henson has filed an official refugee claim yet.