A Montreal mafia leader accused of killing three people 25 years ago in the United States will be extradited there after Canada's Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of his extradition order Thursday.
The accused mobster Vito Rizzuto, often referred to as the "Godfather" of Montreal's Mafia, will be extradited as early as Thursday afternoon, officials said.
It was the second and final attempt by Rizzuto,to delay and perhaps avoid being extradited to face a charge of racketeering in Brooklyn, N.Y.
U.S. officials claim he furthered the aims of the Bonanno crime family by murdering three of the gang's captains 25 years ago.
Rizzuto was arrested 19 months ago and was refused bail. He appealed, but last winter Canada's top court refused to get involved.
Rizzuto launched a new appeal asking the court to consider whether it was too late to extradite him. He argued that since the murders underpinning the racketeering charge took place more than five years ago, and there is a time limit of five years to bring a racketeering case, then U.S. prosecutors are too late.
Prosecutors said the racketeering continued until Rizzuto's arrest, and so they argued that time has not run out.
Former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler considered both arguments and decided he was not sure who was right. He then went ahead and ordered the extradition.