VANCOUVER, British Columbia A radical environmentalist
who is one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives told an extradition
hearing Monday he was being unfairly targeted by the U.S.
government and should be allowed to remain in Canada.
Tre Arrow, born Michael Scarpitti, is accused of taking part in
the 2001 firebombings of logging and cement trucks in Oregon. The
FBI also claims he is associated with the Earth Liberation Front, a
group that has claimed responsibility for dozens of acts of
destruction over the past few years.
"I am being targeted by the U.S. government and the FBI, not
because I am guilty but because I have chosen to challenge the
status quo," Arrow, and a Green Party candidate for Congress in
2000, said at his extradition hearing.
In order for an extradition to be ordered, the judge must find
there is sufficient evidence to convict the accused on the same
charges in Canada.
Prosecutor Rosellina Patillo said evidence from the federal
prosecutor in Oregon indicates Arrow was among four conspirators
involved in the bombings of a gravel company and a logging company
between April and June of 2001. The evidence comes from statements
of Arrow's three coconspirators who have pleaded guilty.
The suspects intended to firebomb a U.S. Forest Service office,
but abandoned the idea after they found the security system was too
tight, Patillo said.
Arrow is seeking refugee status in Canada, his lawyer said.
The 30-year-old Arrow _ who says the trees told him to change
his name _ contends he would not get a fair trial in the United
States because of the FBI's assertion that his alleged crimes are
acts of terrorism.
He faces federal charges in Oregon of using fire to commit a
felony, destroying vehicles used in interstate commerce and using
incendiary devices in a crime of violence. He faces up to 80 years
in prison if convicted.