Legal hiccup stalls Oberlander ruling


WATERLOO — A legal hiccup has stalled Helmut Oberlander’s bid to regain his citizenship, stripped by the federal government for the fourth time last year over his Second World War service with a Nazi death squad.

As he has done three times before, Oberlander, 94, plans to ask another court to overturn the latest ruling made against him Sept. 27.

Lawyers had expected a Federal Court judge to certify possible issues for appeal but Judge Michael Phelan failed to do so before issuing his ruling.

Oberlander’s lawyer Ron Poulton calls it an “inadvertent omission” and a “technical matter.” Phelan has responded by putting his recent ruling on hold for up to 17 days while lawyers debate possible appeal issues that the judge may certify.

Oberlander no longer has an automatic right to appeal Phelan’s ruling against him. He must ask for permission to argue his case before the Federal Court of Appeal, where he was won three times previously.

Oberlander became a successful developer after lying about his wartime interpreter job to immigrate to Canada, a court has ruled. Canada has been trying for 23 years to strip his citizenship in a case that’s gone to court 15 times and cost taxpayers more than $2 million in legal fees.

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