MONTREAL - A Dutch dentist arrested this week in New Brunswick and wanted in France for allegedly mutilating patients through botched procedures will remain detained pending his removal from Canada.
Jacobus Marinus van Nierop, 50, had a detention review before an Immigration and Refugee Board commissioner on Friday.
Speaking from the Southeast Correctional Facility in Shediac, N.B., he told the commissioner in Montreal he doesn't object to being held while authorities finalize plans to have him removed from the country.
Van Nierop is facing charges stemming from his dentistry practice in Chateau-Chinon, located in the Burgundy region of France.
In a strange twist, van Nierop told the hearing he thought he was being held in connection with the murder of his wife in the Netherlands in 2006.
That piece of information caught both the Canada Border Services Agency and the commissioner hearing the case off guard.
"Where does this information come from?," a surprised IRB commissioner Yves Dumoulin asked van Nierop, who had just informed a CBSA agent next to him about the murder.
Another CBSA agent, Tanya Benic, who presented the case from Halifax, said the agency was not aware of the development.
"We have not confirmed any of that but we will be looking into that after this hearing," she said.
Van Nierop told the hearing he has no problems returning to Holland to "face consequences", adding that "I hope it will be as soon as possible."
But it wasn't clear if he'd object to being sent to France, where criminal allegations against him have been written about extensively.
"There is a provisional extradition warrant from the Embassy of France for Mr. van Nierop," Benic told the hearing. "Mr. van Nierop is accused of voluntary violence causing mutilation or permanent disability while practising dentistry in France."
Benic said some of the allegations against van Nierop include piercing patients' jaws with poorly placed implants or leaving pieces of dental tools lodged in patients' gums. In some cases, he is accused of pulling out perfectly healthy teeth.
"The warrant also contains allegations that Mr. van Nierop was fleeing his home country of the Netherlands where he was facing similar charges," Benic said. "At this time, these are unconfirmed allegations."
According to a statement of facts in the case, the RCMP went looking for van Nierop after receiving a complaint and determining he was the subject of an Interpol notice.
Van Nierop, who also goes by the first name Mark, was first located by Canadian authorities on Labour Day in an apartment in Nackawic, west of Fredericton.
A woman answered the door, but van Nierop was locked in a bathroom. The statement of facts says that when officers decided to enter, they found that van Nierop had tried to commit suicide.
He was hospitalized until Wednesday at a Fredericton hospital, when he was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency upon being discharged.
Benic said the plan now is to return van Nierop to Holland, a scenario that could change if French authorities demanded his extradition.
"Should the RCMP get an extradition request from France, the RCMP would have jurisdiction and take over," Benic said. "At this point, we are working on removal of Mr. van Nierop (to his) home country, which is the Netherlands."
The RCMP did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Van Nierop entered Canada last Dec. 18 with the plan of meeting up with a woman he'd met online, despite being under conditions not to leave France.
That relationship ended in May, but van Nierop remained in Canada beyond the time he was permitted, partly because he had no financial means to leave.
He denied facing criminal charges abroad when questioned by the Canada Border Services Agency.
The Dutch man seemed confused by parts of Friday's proceedings, saying he wasn't sure about several documents he had received.
He also told Dumoulin he is having memory problems, saying he "lives from day-to-day" and doesn't remember a lot.
There was no lawyer or representative for van Nierop, who maintained several times he wants to return to the Netherlands. He even signed a document waiving a right to a pre-removal risk assessment by Canadian authorities.
"I have to be here (in jail) until I go back to Holland, I understand that," van Nierop said. "I have no problem to go back to Holland."
He asked that he be allowed to meet with a representative of the Dutch government in Canada.
In the end, Dumoulin agreed that van Nierop represented both a flight risk and danger to himself.
If van Nierop is still in Canada, he will have another detention review hearing next Friday to update the case.