The U.S. government admits “mistakes” were made in the case of a former American sheriff’s department officer who is seeking a Vienna Convention violation complaint over his jailing in Canada.
In a new letter from the U.S. Department of State regarding Scott Loper’s case, the U.S. State Department argues it does its best “to ensure that other governments are aware of the importance we attach to consular notification.”
“As a matter of routine, we do this at various levels,” the letter continued. “Mistakes happen in every country, and we do not raise a high level of concern unless we determine a pattern of violations.
“Except in Mr. Loper’s case, consular notification and access have not been a problem in Canada,” said the letter, signed on behalf of Theodore R. Coley, chief of the Western Hemisphere Division.
WND broke the story in 2007 of Loper’s account of his experiences, including his descriptions of torture at the hands of Canadian authorities and authorities’ refusal to notify U.S. consular officials as required under the Vienna Convention.
Loper and his civil rights attorney have been working to obtain a full investigation of his jailing and treatment by Canadian authorities. They have taken their case directly to American people by posting a YouTube video about his case.
It can be seen here:
The State Department previously cited a “waiver” that the Canadian government alleged Loper signed as a reason for its decision not to notify the U.S. that an American citizen was being jailed in Canada, which would violate the Vienna Convention.
Loper’s allegations are described on his website:
On the verge of exposing a police-run narcotics ring in Durham, Ontario, Loper was discovered by the ring and imprisoned for four years on trumped-up charges. There, he was tortured to the point where he often questioned his ability to make it out alive.
Those he had been about to expose were after the evidence – audio and video recordings Loper had made of their illegal operations. They also wanted him to keep quiet.
The Canadian government originally said the whole thing, including Loper’s arrest, never happened, denying that Loper had ever lived in Canada, let alone been incarcerated there.
The Vienna Convention, signed by 164 nations in 1967, requires nations to notify arrested foreign nationals of their right to contact their own embassy and allow the contact to take place.
Loper contends that never happened.
Canadian officials repeatedly have declined to respond to WND questions about the case. They provided the U.S. State Department a copy of a document they explained was a “waiver” of his rights to notify consular officials from his own nation.
But the document is dated 2003, even though Loper’s case developed in 2000. It also is unsigned and pertains to a different type of hearing, according to Loper’s attorney.
Loper told WND his interpretation is that the Canadian government was hoping the issue would go away with its explanation of a “waiver,” but that didn’t happen.
He said tried to pursue the complaint through an oversight board for Canadian police, but it was dismissed as frivolous.
The Canadian government to this day has declined to reveal information about what happened to Loper’s wife and young son when he was arrested, since he has not seen them since. After his release, he moved back to the U.S. and eventually remarried.
C. Scott Shields, Loper’s attorney, said the immediate goal is to have the U.S. government file a complaint with the World Court over the situation, since under the Geneva Convention, individuals aren’t allowed to file such allegations.