- While jet fighters drop bombs on Afghanistan in the
wake of the World Trade Center tragedy and FBI agents search for the
source of anthrax letters, an incredible tale has been unfolding in a
- It draws together the threads of a narrative some
describe as "stunning and fantastic," while others wonder if it isn't
just the ravings of a lunatic.
- The man telling the tale in sworn court affidavits
is Delmart Edward Vreeland, who faces credit fraud charges in Canada
and in the United States, where officials are attempting to extradite
- The 35-year-old American claims to be a lieutenant
in a U.S. Navy intelligence unit - a spy who says he knew in advance
about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- In his affidavit, he says he tried to warn Canadian
intelligence about possible terrorist attacks on New York and the
Pentagon, along with targets in Ottawa and Toronto, but was written
off as a petty criminal.
- So he wrote the warning on a piece of paper, sealed
it in an envelope, and handed it to jail guards a month before the
attacks. They opened the letter Sept. 14 and immediately forwarded the
information to Ottawa.
- His lawyers, Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky, are
fighting extradition, telling the court he could face treason charges
and the death penalty in the U.S.
- In the first stage of hearings, federal prosecutor
Kevin Wilson yesterday told Mr. Justice Archie Campbell of the
Superior Court of Justice that he was skeptical of Vreeland's
- "Is his story possible? I can't go so far as to say
it's not possible, but it's not plausible," Wilson said.
- The prosecutor said he has seen no evidence to back
Vreeland's claim that Canadian embassy official Marc Bastien was
murdered in Moscow in December. Canadian officials said the
35-year-old computer specialist died of natural causes.
- So, who is Delmart Edward Joseph Michael Vreeland
- According to court documents, Vreeland was 18 when
he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1984.
- Two years later, Vreeland says in his affidavit, he
joined a special unit investigating drug smuggling into the U.S. by
naval personnel. But the navy says Vreeland was "unsatisfactorily
discharged" in 1986.
- Vreeland also claims he gathered information on a
crime family in Detroit and testified against them in 1998.
- Late last year, he says, he came to Canada to help
smuggle Russian military secrets out of Moscow, including Russia's
plan to counter the American 'Star Wars' missile defence system. While
in Moscow, Vreeland says, he met Bastien.
- Vreeland was arrested by a police fugitive squad
nine months ago. While in Toronto (Don) Jail, he met Nestor Fonseca,
who was facing drug smuggling charges and extradition to the U.S. The
court documents say Fonseca allegedly told Vreeland of his plans to
kill a Toronto judge and others. Fonseca was charged with counselling
to commit murder.
- Galati and Slansky said in the documents that
Vreeland should be put into the witness protection program in Canada
because he is the main witness against Fonseca.
- Galati writes in one document: "Neither myself, nor
Mr. Slansky ... have seen anything as incomprehensibly frustrating,
inexplicable and irresponsibly absurd. as the RCMP's position that
they are not interested in reviewing Mr. Vreeland's
- It would appear, Galati says in the brief, that the
Canadian and American governments have written Vreeland off as a "nut
case," which he says is a "patently absurd conclusion."
- With files from Donovan Vincent