FBI takes custody of reputed Montreal 'godfather'
Accused mobster Vito Rizzuto was taken into FBI custody Thursday in New York, hours after theSupreme Court of Canada ruled it would not hear an appeal of his extradition order.
Rizzuto, 60, will be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn on racketeering conspiracy charges.
The appeal to the top court wasthe second and final attempt by Rizzuto, often referred to as the "Godfather" of Montreal's Mafia, to delay and perhaps avoid extradition.
U.S. officials claim he furthered the aims of the Bonanno crime family by murdering three of the gang's captains 25 years ago.
Rizzuto was arrested 19 months ago and was refused bail. He appealed, but last winter, Canada's top court refused to get involved.
Rizzuto launched a new appealasking thecourtto consider whether it wastoo late to extradite him.
Rizzuto's argumentwas that since the murders underpinning the racketeering charge took place more than five years ago, and there is a time limit of five years to bring a racketeering case, then U.S. prosecutors are too late.
Prosecutors said the racketeering continued until Rizzuto's arrest and so they argued that time has not run out.
Former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler considered both arguments and decided he wasn't sure who was right. Since the law requires the minister to be sure it is too late, Cotler went ahead and ordered the extradition.
As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for deciding not to hear the appeal.