POLITICS

Arthur Porter's Cancer Will Kill Him Before His Trial: Oncologist

06/03/2013 05:04 EDT | Updated 06/04/2013 05:08 EDT
AP

Former Canadian spy watchdog Arthur Porter likely won't live to see trial, says his oncologist.

Karol Sikora, a British cancer doctor who is involved in treating Porter, said his terminal cancer is very advanced and he'll likely die within six months to a year, according to the Globe and Mail.

"The prognosis is not good. He’ll never go to trial,” Dr. Sikora told the Globe Sunday, adding he sought Porter's permission to release the prognosis first.

Porter, who is wanted in connection with an alleged bribery scandal involving the construction of the $1.3-billion McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, has been held in a jail in Panama since May 27, when he was arrested on fraud charges.

He told a paper in the Bahamas about six months ago that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his liver. Sikora told the Globe Porter has recovered slightly due to a new drug called Crizotinib, but that his body will become resistant to it within six to eight months.

However, police in Panama have said they think Porter "doesn't seem that sick". Alexis Munoz, head of the country's judicial investigation department, said he noticed Porter walking around easily until he saw reporters and video cameras, according to QMI Agency.

Sikora defended the diagnosis, saying that terminal patients often seem fine, but that "he really has cancer."

Porter, who Quebec police charged with fraud several months ago, claimed he was too sick to return to Canada to appear in court.

The doctor also served as chair of the government committee which oversees the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) from September 2008 until December 2011, when he resigned.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the construction costs of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal as $1.3 million. It cost $1.3 billion. This story has been updated.