China’s Most Wanted Fugitive Arrives in Beijing from Canada

Posted July 23rd, 2011 at 6:00 am (UTC-5)
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China's most wanted fugitive has arrived in Beijing after being deported from Canada following a 12-year extradition battle.

Lai Changxing arrived in China Saturday. He is facing charges for allegedly orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar smuggling operation.

A Canadian court cleared the way late Thursday to extradite Lai.

China's Foreign Ministry welcomed the decision.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told reporters in China Monday that he discussed Lai's case with Chinese officials.

Lai fled to Canada in 1999 with his wife and children. He says the charges against him are politically motivated, and he faces the death penalty in China.

Baird said Beijing has offered assurances that white-collar crime is no longer punishable by death in China. Canada does not have a death penalty and will not extradite people who face possible execution.