Alexander Henri Legault, 59, was turned over by Canada to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers Friday. He was promptly arrested by New York State Police for allegedly using Canada as a base for a multi-million-dollar securities fraud in Florida.
Legault is best known in Canada for his role in a claimed 2001 plot in which Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, then opposition leader, met in Montreal with Legault and his business partner, Ari Ben-Menashe.
The two claimed the politician discussed a plan to assassinate Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and stage a coup.
A highly suspect video of the meeting was turned over Zimbabwean police and Tsvangirai, the main challenger in the country’s presidential election two weeks away, was arrested for high treason. Tsvangirai said he was framed.
Legault arrived in Canada with his wife in 1982 and obtained a ministerial permit to remain. Four years later, however, he was indicted in the U.S. on fraud charges, stemming from a botched deal to export 5,000 tonnes of frozen chickens from Louisiana to Egypt. An arrest warrant was issued in Louisiana, and in 1988, when his ministerial permit expired, Legault was told to leave Canada.
He ignored the order and sought refugee status on humanitarian grounds that he was married to a Canadian and had six children. He eventually won his case, but the federal government successfully appealed that ruling in 2002 in Federal Court.
In 2003, he claimed refugee status again, this time, "on the basis of a fear of prosecution by virtue of having allegedly provided confidential information and damaging evidence against the CIA."
Legault’s mother-in-law was among the victims of a secret mind-control experiment conducted in Montreal in the 1950s. The experiment was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. Legault says he tried to help his mother-in-law receive compensation for her role in the experiment by approaching a lawyer, who, he claims, divulged his name to the CIA. The spy agency, Legault continued, decided to persecute him for talking to a lawyer about the experiment.
Legault then launched a series of appeals that continued to drag their way through Canada’s immigration and justice systems.
Again in May 2003, he was ordered deported. But he never showed for a scheduled U.S.-bound flight from Montreal’s airport and remained on the run