By Tracy Sherlock and Robert Hiltz, the Vancouver Sun | Link to Article
VANCOUVER — While working as a prison guard in Bosnia-Herzegovina, accused war criminal Branko Rogan was aware that prisoners were being physically abused, that he was directly involved in the abuse and that he was not acting under duress, Federal Court documents show.
Further, the court found that Rogan, who has lived in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam, concealed information about his involvement in crimes against humanity perpetrated against male Muslim civilians in 1992.
On Thursday, Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish ruled that Rogan acquired his Canadian citizenship by false representation, and that he knowingly concealed information when applying for citizenship.
According to Rachelle Bedard, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the decision to revoke Rogan's citizenship now lies with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
In an email, Bedard said she could not comment on how long this process might take.
The father of four testified in April that he was not a war criminal, and that those who accused him had lied to Canadian authorities.
Rogan admitted to working as a reserve police officer at two jails in 1991 in his hometown of Bileca, in the former Yugoslavia, and said he had heard stories of Muslim prisoners being beaten and tortured. But he said he did not participate in the beatings.
Rogan, a Serb, came to Canada from Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994 and became a Canadian citizen three years later.
Huso Hatzic, a Vancouver man, first told RCMP about Rogan's role in the prison where Hatzic was jailed for several months.
Rogan said Hatzic, who had been a childhood friend of Rogan's, was lying about his role in the beatings.
Bedard told Postmedia News Rogan can be deported if his citizenship is revoked, but he would first have to be brought before an Immigration and Refugee board to be ordered out of the country.
Had Rogan been upfront with his involvement in the prison system in Yugoslavia, he would never have been granted citizenship or refugee status. His complicity in crimes against humanity would have rendered him ineligible for status in Canada, according to Bedard.
This is the first case in which citizenship could be revoked for war crimes or crimes against humanity that took place outside of the Second World War.
According to Bedard, 66 people have had their citizenship revoked since 1977.