A Canadian potato farmer who was arrested in Lebanon a year ago has been released from prison in Beirut and is expected to arrive home on Saturday, officials said.
Henk Tepper, 44, one of Canada's largest potato growers, was arrested in Lebanon in March 2011 under an Interpol warrant for allegedly selling bad produce to Algeria.
"I am pleased that Canadian consular officials have helped secure the release of Mr. Henk Tepper," Canadian Foreign Minister Diane Ablonczy said in a statement.
New Brunswick Senator, Pierrette Ringuette, who had lobbied the government in Ottawa to secure Tepper's release, said she was concerned about his health.
"The Henk Tepper I've visited in Beirut has lost about 40 pounds, his eyes are red, his back is curved as if he was carrying a bag of a hundred pounds of potatoes on his back," she said.
Tepper was on an agricultural trade mission arranged by the Canadian government when he was arrested in response to the warrant.
Algeria was seeking his transfer to prosecute him for allegedly selling 3,800 metric tons of potatoes to the country in October 2007 which it claims were "dangerous to humans if consumed."
Algeria further claimed that Tepper had forged Canadian documents certifying the quality of the potatoes to sneak them past customs.
Tepper, through his Canadian lawyer Rodney Gillis, denied the accusations.