British Columbia

Fugitive Lai arrested in China

Fugitive Lai Changxing has landed in China and was immediately arrested by Chinese authorities.

Lai worried about fate in China, says lawyer

Lai Changxing, right, is escorted by a security guard from an Immigration and Refugee Board detention hearing in Vancouver on July 11. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Fugitive Lai Changxing has landed in China and was immediately arrested by Chinese authorities.

Following a 12-year legal battle, Federal Court decision on Thursday cleared the way for 52-year-old to be deported, and he has now arrived in Beijing.

Lai's lawyer, David Matas, says his client is worried about his fate and doesn't believe he'll receive a fair trial in China.

Matas said he has been in contact with Lai through an interpreter, and said Lai is worried he won't receive a fair trial, will be forced to confess against his will and could be harmed in prison.

The Chinese government has assured Ottawa that Lai will not be tortured or executed, but Matas said those are empty promises that don't give Lai any comfort.

Matas said Lai's brother and accountant have both died in prison under unexplained circumstances, and Lai is worried he could meet a similar fate.

Lai faces charges of bribery, smuggling and tax evasion for allegations that he orchestrated a $10-billion smuggling ring.

With files from The Canadian Press

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