Tory MP defends Ottawa's role in Tepper's release
New Brunswick potato farmer Henk Tepper walks with his sister Harmien Dionne as he arrives at the airport in Ottawa, Saturday March 31, 2012.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:42PM EDT
GRAND FALLS, N.B. - A New Brunswick Tory MP is defending Ottawa's role in securing the release of a farmer who spent more than a year in a Lebanese jail on accusations he exported rotten potatoes.
Mike Allen says the federal government deserves more credit in helping facilitate the release of Henk Tepper, who returned to Canada last weekend.
Allen says allegations that the government wasn't doing all it could to help Tepper are "a slap" to the work of consular officials.
Earlier this week, Tepper's sister and legal team held a news conference during which they said the government did not do enough to have Tepper return home.
Tepper was detained on an international arrest warrant on allegations he exported rotten potatoes to Algeria in 2007 and forged export documents.
He was arrested in Lebanon when he travelled to the Middle East on an agricultural trade mission to promote seed potatoes from Atlantic Canada.