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Actor Randy Quaid and wife will not be extradited from Canada

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, during a press conference in Vancouver February 23, 2011.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

An application to extradite actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi from Canada has been denied. The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) has turned down the request, which was made earlier this year by the Santa Barbara District Attorney's office.

According to the D.A.'s office, the USDOJ stated that the process in seeking extradition from Canada is resource-intensive and lengthy, and that extradition is generally reserved for more serious offences than those with which the Quaids have been charged.

"We obviously understand and we accept the position of the U.S. Department of Justice," Santa Barbara Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter told The Globe and Mail on Friday.

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"We've run out of options so now we just have to wait until they come back to the United States, at which time we will prosecute them."

The Quaids were arrested in California last September, on charges of felony vandalism and misdemeanour trespassing, in connection with a property they once owned. They were released after posting bail. Bench warrants were issued for their arrest in November, based on their failure to appear in court. By that time, they had crossed the border into Canada.

"Our warrants remain out in the United States and should the Quaids return to the United States, they will be arrested on our warrants and brought back to our jurisdiction," said Mr. Carter. "But as it stands right now we are unable to secure their return from Canada, despite making every available effort."

The Vancouver lawyers who have been handling the Quaids' case have always maintained that the couple is not extraditable.

"This is consistent with what our clients have been saying all along that they have done nothing wrong," lawyer Catherine Sas said in an email to the Globe.

The Quaids were arrested in Vancouver last October and jailed under the Canadian Immigration Act. They applied for refugee status, saying they were seeking asylum from so-called "star whackers" targeting Hollywood celebrities.

Ms. Quaid, whose father was Canadian, was later granted citizenship, and she is sponsoring her husband, an Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actor, whose films include The Last Detail, Independence Day, Brokeback Mountain and the National Lampoon Vacation movies.

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About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

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