TORONTO (FDI) – An official at Foreign Affairs Canada has confirmed that Pan Xinchun, the former Vice-Consul General of the People’s Republic of China at Toronto, who was found liable in a Canadian court for defaming Joel Chipkar, a Toronto spokesperson for Falun Gong practitioners, is no longer in Canada after failing to satisfy the judgment against him.
Toronto businessman, Mr. Joel Chipkar, with his legal council Mr. Peter Downard and Ms. Nicole Samson after the court found the Chinese Deputy Consul General guilty of libel.
On February 3, 2004, Justice Harvey T. Spiegel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found Mr. Pan liable for calling Joel Chipkar a member of a “sinister cult” in a local newspaper. Justice Spiegel accepted that Mr. Pan could not claim consular immunity.
Mr. Chipkar alleged that the libel formed part of a campaign of hatred and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by officials of the People’s Republic of China in Canada. Pan was ordered to pay damages of $1,000 (a symbolic amount requested by the plaintiff) and $10,000 in legal costs.
On July 14, 2004, after payment was not received, the Superior Court issued a Notice of Garnishment against Mr. Pan. Mr. Pan’s bank, the Chinese government-owned Bank of China, stated that it could not satisfy the Notice of Garnishment due to the status of Mr. Pan’s account.
On Tuesday, November 16, Mr. Pan failed to attend an examination under oath after notice of the examination was served at his Toronto residence and upon legal counsel for the People’s Republic of China. The examination was to be conducted to identify assets with which the judgment could be satisfied.
“It is my opinion that after continuously disregarding the Ontario court, Mr. Pan left the country rather than comply with his obligations under Canadian law,” said Mr. Chipkar. “He should not be allowed to come back into Canada.”
Chipkar said it is obvious that the People’s Republic of China knowingly participated in Pan’s departure and that Canada must ensure that China’s regime is held accountable for its conduct and that of its agents. “These officials should not be free to come here and violate the safety and rights of Canadians and then run away and ignore our Canadian court rulings,” he said.
Chipkar has requested Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to declare the former Vice-Consul General of the People’s Republic of China at Toronto persona non grata according to article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Mr. Chipkar has been represented throughout the action by Peter A. Downard of Fasken Martineau, a national Canadian law firm.
Media Contacts: Peter Downard. (416) 865-4369, Joel Chipkar (416) 709-8678