Dear Immigration Reformer:

It’s hard to imagine greater legal ineptitude than what is outlines in the following story about an Iranian illegal whose reckless driving maimed and hospitalized a Canadian senior.

The illegal — one Mohammed T. Belfeteymouri Shafi — who had already been ordered deported, won’t even lose driving points for his reckless driving which severed Mr. Jim Lindala’s leg! Notice that the wretchedly complicit immigration department won’t even detain him pending further actions to actually remove this violent illegal from this country.

Paul Fromm Director CFIRC

Man loses leg, driver fined $300


Thursday, May 18, 2000

By THANE BURNETT, TORONTO SUN An immigrant under a deportation order has been fined $300 for a traffic accident in which retired school principal Jim Lindala lost a leg and was left paralyzed.

Limo driver Mohammad T. Belfeteymouri Shafi, who remains living and still working in Canada, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving in the accident at Pearson airport last Dec. 6. “If I could fine Mr. Shafi $1 million and make Mr. Lindala well, I would,” said Justice Rick Romaine.

Instead, he dropped the fine from $365 to $300, after Shafi pleaded guilty. Because the accident happened at the airport — basically private property — Shafi’s Ontario driver’s licence has not been taken away and the conviction won’t cost him any demerit points.

Police say if he fails to pay the fine there’s no way to go after him for the money.

The limo driver admitted accidentally running down Lindala as the Markham father unloaded bags from the back of a van. Lindala was on his way to a two-week cruise around Hawaii with his wife, Viola.

“My husband lost his right leg … it was severed on the road,” Viola told a Mississauga court yesterday.

“He lies in a bed paralyzed. He has to be fed by a tube.

“They don’t know whether he will ever come home,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.

After Shafi ran into Lindala from behind that morning, the retired educator suffered a massive stroke that left him in a coma. Pieces of bone from his leg settled inside his skull.

Viola Lindala wanted to ask why Shafi was behind the wheel at all that day — why he was still in Canada after he was ordered deported back to Iran five years ago this month. The deportation ruling came after a 1992 conviction for assault and mischief.

But she was warned those questions wouldn’t be appropriate in court.

Shafi couldn’t offer the court a reason for the accident. There were suggestions it had been raining, there was construction and the big blue Lincoln Town car simply got away from him.

After the accident, Shafi was detained by immigration officials, but was released on a performance bond.

Outside court, he would not talk about his immigration problems. He said he has a valid work permit, and that he’s no longer making a living as a limo driver — a job he gave up because of stress caused by the accident. He wouldn’t say what job he has, but it’s believed to be at a car wash.

“I feel so badly for what happened — I think of it every day,” said the 41-year-old divorced father of one.

“I beg for the forgiveness from (Lindala’s) family.

“It’s been awful for me. I’m so sorry for what happened.”

Immigration department spokesman Doug Kellam said officials classified Shafi a low priority for deportation, adding he has never been considered dangerous or uncooperative.

“If he had been a criminal he would have been at the top of the deportation heap,” said Kellam.

He said immigration officials are trying to get travel documents from Iran so they can fly him back.