Last Updated: Tuesday 15 May 2001  Local News

Rocancourt's lawyer will fight extradition
Bogus Rockefeller may not be keen to return to U.S. but he was happy to talk to 60 Minutes Lora Grindlay The Province


David Clark, The Province / Maria Pia Reyes, wife of Christophe Rocancourt leaves court.

(Christophe) Rocancourt

A husband and wife accused of bilking $200,000 from a wealthy Vancouver businessman appeared in Vancouver Provincial Court yesterday.

Christophe Rocancourt and his wife Maria Pia Reyes -- both charged with fraud -- glanced at each other during the brief appearance but otherwise didn't communicate. They were ordered back to court on May 25.

Rocancourt appears in Victoria Provincial Court Thursday on charges of sexual assault, assault and threatening. The man who allegedly passed himself off as a member of the Rockefeller family wore prison greens and was handcuffed during yesterday's appearance.

Rocancourt was a wanted man in the U.S. when he was arrested in Victoria on April 26. He is wanted on several charges, including passport fraud, carrying a weapon and jumping bail.

Reyes, a former Playboy Playmate, was swarmed by media as she left the courthouse and walked the short distance to the Vancouver PreTrial Centre where her husband is being held without bail.

Reyes has been released on bail and is looking after their four-year-old son. Reyes repeatedly said "No comment" on her way to the jail visit. It's not known where she is living although she's been visiting Rocancourt on a regular basis.

She was accompanied by U.S. lawyer Bettina Schein, who works for Bruce Cutler, a New York lawyer who defended John Gotti, a mob boss serving a life sentence.

Schein was at the pretrial centre Sunday night during a two-hour interview of Rocancourt by journalists from the television news show 60 Minutes.

The segment is set to air in October.

Rocancourt's new lawyer, Victoria's Mayland McKimm, said that although U.S. authorities have started paperwork to have Rocancourt returned to the U.S., he will be dealt with by Canadian authorities first.

McKimm said he'll oppose extradition.