The final case against a Canadian linked to Nazi war crimes, which has taken 25 years in court, will be delayed further after his lawyers obtained a postponement of the hearing that was to start Monday.
The Immigration and Refugee Board was scheduled to begin an admissibility hearing on Monday morning for Helmut Oberlander, a 96-year-old resident of Waterloo, Ont.
However, lawyers for Mr. Oberlander have obtained an order from the Federal Court to stay the proceedings until at least March 19.
The order was issued by Justice Richard Southcott on Friday, according to the court online docket. “The applicant may move for a further stay beyond March 19, 2021,” the docket said.
“Justice Southcott stopped the hearing from proceeding because it is simply unfair to proceed,” Ronald Poulton, one of Mr. Oberlander’s lawyers, said in an e-mail to The Globe on Sunday.
Mr. Oberlander’s legal team previously asked to delay the start of the IRB proceedings, saying that they needed more time to be ready.
They have said that the COVID-19 pandemic and Mr. Oberlander’s poor health made it hard to prepare the case with him in person.
The retired real-estate developer is the last of 20 men the federal government has tried to strip of their Canadian citizenship and deport since 1995, because of allegations that they were connected to atrocities committed during the Second World War.
An ethnic German born in the Soviet Union, Mr. Oberlander was an interpreter for Einsatzkommando 10a, a Nazi death squad that operated behind the German frontlines on the Eastern Front.
He says that he was 17 when he was forced to join the squad, and that he never took part in killings. The Federal Court has, however, ruled in 2018 that by being an interpreter he contributed to the murderous aims of the unit, and therefore he shouldn’t have been allowed to immigrate to Canada.
The IRB, which could order his deportation, was to hear his case after he fought his removal for a quarter of a century in Canadian courts.
Ottawa started its bid to expel Mr. Oberlander in 1995. His citizenship was revoked four times. He was able to appeal the first three times but was unsuccessful the fourth time.
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