Bosnian killer to stay in jail until deported
Elvir Pobric will stay in custody in Calgary until he’s sent back to Bosnia, where he was serving a prison term for two murders until he escaped. (Peter Akman/CBC)
A convicted murderer from Bosnia will remain in detention in Calgary until he’s deported, an immigration board ruled Monday.
Elvir Pobric, 38 — who has been in custody since Feb. 22, when he was ordered deported — “represents a high degree of flight risk” if he is set free pending his next hearing, said Michael McPhalen, the Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator.
In 1992, Pobric escaped from a Bosnian prison where he was serving 20 years for robbing and killing two men. He became the subject of an international manhunt before being arrested in Calgary in May 2009.
Court records indicate Pobric lured two associates who traded in black market foreign currency to his mother’s home in Bosnia, where he shot them in the head with a pistol.
Arguing that Pobric should remain behind bars, government lawyer Catherine King said he did not reveal his murder conviction when he gained entry to Canada as a refugee. He is the subject of an Interpol warrant and faces 15 more years in prison if he is deported to his home country, she said.
“No evidence has ever been provided to contradict that Interpol warrant,” King said.
But Pobric’s lawyer, Bjorn Harsanyi, said his client denies committing the murders in Bosnia and maintains he did not escape from prison but was released legitimately.
“There are numerous and serious questions regarding the arrest and the release of Mr. Pobric from prison in Bosnia,” Harsanyi said.
Pobric’s next review has been set for April 26. McPhalen said he expected him to be removed from Canada within four months.
But Harsanyi said his client will ask for a stay of his deportation order and the reinstatement of his refugee status.
Before his arrest, Pobric was working in Calgary but returning regularly to Grimsby, Ont., where he has family.
With files from Peter Akman