An immigration official has ruled that a suspected war criminal who was intercepted when he tried to slip back into Canada should not be held while he awaits a second deportation hearing.
Because of the Monday ruling, suspected war criminal Konrad Kalejs, 81, has been reunited in Canada with his common-law wife.
Kalejs was a key officer in the notorious Arajs Kommando unit of the World War II Latvian Security Police.
The decision to release Kalejs outraged area Jewish groups, which accused the Department of Immigration of bungling the matter.
No date has been set for the second hearing.
Kalejs has been detained since Sept. 3, when he was caught trying to sneak into Canada at Pearson International Airport here.
He had been scheduled for an Aug. 4 deportation hearing in Toronto. But he voluntarily left the country on June 21 for Australia – hours before his visitor’s visa expired.
After he left Canada, his name was added to a watch list of person who would not be permitted entry into the country.
Kalejs, who is an Australian citizen, had been deported from the United States.
In 1993, a U.S. appeals court upheld a 1985 deportation decision in which h was identified as a high-ranking officer in the mobile killing unit, which murdered tens of thousands of Latvian Jews, Gypsies and Communists during the war.