KevinHiebert

Kevin Hiebert, 35, of Winnipeg, is on the run after failing to return to a Greek prison in mid-November.

An international drug smuggler who fled a Greek prison and a life sentence last month says he wants to return to Canada to face justice at home.

Winnipegger Kevin Hiebert, 35, said Thursday that he has no intention of going back to a Greek prison.

In 1999, he was convicted in Greece of smuggling two kilograms of cocaine into that country from South America. He was sentenced to life in prison and served nine years before failing to return to prison last month while out on a temporary absence pass. International warrants have been issued for his arrest.

"I don't deserve to go back to prison," he said in an exclusive interview with CBC News from an unknown location.

He said his nerves are frayed from being on the run but he couldn't handle being in jail anymore. Now, he's constantly looking over his shoulder.

"Yeah, you can't trust nobody," he said. "I can't trust the Canadian government. What I'm doing today is just expressing to the Canadian public the reasons why I had to do what I had to do."

Hiebert said he would like to turn himself in to Canadian authorities, but in exchange, he wants a guarantee that he won't be returned to prison in Greece.

He said he would be prepared, if necessary, to face a court at home.

"For me to go back to prison … I'd have to be insane," he said. "I want to get back to Canada so I can receive some fair justice."

Hiebert said he has received help from undisclosed sources since failing to return to prison in mid-November.

"I did a crime back in 1999. I'm a drug addict and I'm sorry but I've done enough years."

He said if he had committed his crime in Canada he would have completed his sentence by now.

'Nobody gives a hoot about me'

Although he has applied for a transfer — Canada and Greece have a prisoner-transfer treaty — Hiebert said he didn't hold out much hope that an official transfer would ever take place.

"I don't think I'll ever be transferred. I have millions of years to do and nobody gives a hoot about me."

His only choice now, he said, is to remain a fugitive or to convince Canadian authorities to somehow bring him back to Canada.

"I don't expect them to help me that much but it's worth a try. I haven't committed a crime in Canada and nor do I have any outstanding warrants in Canada."

He knows he could eventually be caught.

"If they do catch me, at least I know I tried. It's better than wasting your days in prison and doing nothing."