OTTAWA, Aug. 10 (UPI) — One of the Libyan diplomats ordered to leave Canada is seeking refugee status in Ottawa in a bid to avoid going home, immigration officials said.
The unidentified man is one of four remaining diplomats at the Libyan embassy. They were told Monday night by the Foreign Affairs department they had five days to leave Canada and their bank accounts were frozen.
Five other Libyans were ordered out of the country in May as part of the international pressure on Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi to step down and stop using the military against civilian protesters.
The man seeking refugee status is entitled to a hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board, although there was no immediate indication when that would occur, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Sufyan Maghur, the former Canadian representative of the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council, praised the expulsions as “good news” for Libyans in Canada, Postmedia News said.
“Now they can relax — there’s no official representative from the Libyan government spying on them or trying to create trouble,” he said.