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article imageCanada denies asylum, deports alleged Anonymous hacker to U.S.

By Nathan Salant     Mar 2, 2015 in Politics
Ontario - A former U.S. soldier who fled to Canada in the face of criminal charges filed after he was accused of computer hacking for the group Anonymous has been deported from Canada.
Matt DeHart was taken from an Ontario prison on Sunday and turned over to U.S. agents at an undisclosed border crossing, according to the National Post daily newspaper in Toronto.
DeHart, 30, had requested asylum in Canada after claiming torture at the hands of U.S. authorities seeking information about his alleged involvement with the anti-government groups Anonymous and Wikileaks, which have made headlines in recent years with releases of secret U.S. documents.
DeHart's family moved to Toronto in 2010 after he was arrested on child pornography charges that he claimed were fabricated.
Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board rejected DeHart's asylum request last month in a ruling that cast doubt on the U.S. government's allegations but said U.S. courts could be trusted to act honorably in his case.
DeHart was permitted to make a telephone call to his parents while he was being transported to the U.S. border, the newspaper said.
“We are concerned about Matt’s safety as he transits,” DeHart's father, Paul, told the Post.
“We said a prayer together on the phone and gave him into God’s hands for protection," Paul DeHart said.
Matt DeHart told the newspaper last month that he did not want to return to the United States because of the way he had been treated in government custody.
“I cannot imagine any life in a country which has already tortured me,” he told the newspaper.
“Am I now to be given into the hands of my torturers,” he asked.
Matt DeHart's case has been widely reported in Europe but has received little media attention in the United States — far less than those of Bradley Manning and Eric Snowden, two other U.S. citizens who used military connections to obtain and leak thousands of secret documents.
A New York attorney who represents DeHart, Tor Ekeland, said Canadian authorities refused legal requests to find out where his client was being taken.
“We wanted to have a lawyer present,” Ekeland said.
“We’ll be doing our best to find him,” he said.
Canada's Border Services Agency declined to offer any information about DeHart, even a confirmation of his departure, the newspaper said.
"The decision to remove someone from Canada is not taken lightly," CBSA spokesman Anna Pape told the Post.
DeHart is expected to wind up in a county jail in Tennessee or Kentucky, the newspaper said.
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