Somalian criminal begs to stay in Canada

A Somalian man with a violent criminal past is desperately appealing to remain in Canada as the federal government prepares for a second time to deport him.

Declared a danger to the public, Mohamed Jama asks for 2nd chance

A Somalian man with a violent criminal past is desperately appealing to remain in Canada as the federal government prepares for a second time to deport him.

Mohamed Said Jama, 40, could be deported to Bossaso in northern Somalia any day. His legal avenues to stave off being removed from Canada have been exhausted.

But Jama, who came to Canada in 1991 as a Geneva Convention refugee, is pleading to stay, saying being sent back would be a death sentence because his father was a reviled high-ranking military official.

Jama maintains he would be killed because of his family connections.

The federal government, the Immigration and Refugee Board and the federal courts have ruled there is insufficient evidence to back up his claim.

Each has also maintained that he is a danger to the Canadian public.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News from the federal prison in Stony Mountain, Man., Jama said he has changed.

"It's not a matter of getting freedom," he told CBC reporter Marianne Klowak. "It's a matter of survival.

"What's happening to me is something I have brought to myself. And I am not saying feel sympathy.

"I am justifying nothing like that. I am asking for a second chance to do better in life. That's what I am looking for."

Jama and his lawyer each said that Jama's cousin, Hussein Jilaow, was killed in Somalia after being deported from Canada in 2007. The federal courts considered this claim during his appeal process but ruled that there was not enough proof that it happened.

The Canada Border Services Agency made its first attempt to deport Jama last fall, but the effort failed when Jama's agency escorts arrived with him in Nairobi, Kenya, but were unable to arrange a charter flight to Somalia.

Arrested with gangster

They brought Jama back to Canada, where he was released on a $2,000 bond, a promise to report to monthly meetings with Canadian Border Services officers and avoid contact with known criminals.

Jama instead went underground until March 19, when Winnipeg police officers arrested him in the company of a "criminal with ties to organized crime," National Parole Board documents said.

He has been back in prison ever since. He will be held in Stony Mountain until June, and then be transferred to a provincial jail until he's removed from the country.

Jama's original deportation order came after he was convicted in 2005 of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and robbery for an armed home invasion in Winnipeg, where he stabbed a man in the cheek.

The attack left the victim with a permanent scar and needing plastic surgery.

'I paid my debts'

Jama told CBC that the attack was influenced by witnessing the torture and murder of family members in Somalia as a child.

"I am ashamed of it," he said of the attack. "I paid my debts."

Prior to that, he served jail time for robbery, public mischief and court-order breaches.

His removal from Canada couldn't take effect until he had served his full sentence on the home invasion, which was just over 4½ years in prison. In Canada, criminal law trumps matters of immigration.

Jama managed to delay deportation after his sentence expired by appealing his removal order.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he will not intervene to stop Jama's deportation.

The Canadian Borders Services Agency "follows the law, follows the rules of the court, and the courts have ordered that he is eligible to be deported," Toews said. "I'm not intervening in that case."

Court documents surrounding other cases where other people have been deported from Canada to Somalia indicate that the trip costs about $50,000.