Canadian gold-medalist arrested, charged with kidnapping
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Canadian gold-medalist is facing a January 5 extradition hearing from the United States, after she was arrested and charged with abducting her 12-year old daughter Maude. The athlete is arguing she should be allowed to return to Canada on her own.
Bédard had taken her daughter to Washington D.C. with her new husband, Nima Mazhari, on October 2, violating the terms of her divorce settlement from Biathalon coach Jean Paquet. Mazhari, who is a sculptor, was charged with the unrelated theft of $100,000 worth of paintings last year.
Paquet filed a report with theon December 8, stating that Bédard had violated the divorce terms, and an international was issued.
On December 20, the case was brought to the attention of Interpol, and two days later the announced her arrest in , Maryland, at a hotel celebrating Maude's 12th birthday. Maude was taken into the custody of the Marshals Service for three days, before being returned to her natural father.
Defence attorney John Pepper is arguing that the United States should be obligated to release Bédard on bail as she hasn't been formally charged with any crime, pending her extradition to Canada, where she faces two charges, child abduction and violating a custody order.
Pepper is also arguing that the three-time Olympic medalist was seeking refuge from "bureaucratic terrorism" in Canada, a claim that Bédard made in a letter she sent to the Kofi Annan and US ambassador explaining why she was leaving Canada.,
Bédard is facing growing doubts about her mental state, which her attorney says are attempts to "belittle" her, due to personal grudges and her role in the scandal.
- "Lawyer: Bedard should be released from custody" — , December 26, 2006
- Associated Press. "Former Canadian medalist arrested" — , December 23, 2006
- Beth Gorham. "Bedard’s lawyer says she’s lucid amid bizarre trip and custody battle" — , December 28, 2006