Canada's Justice Minister Irwin Cotler has authorized the extradition of fugitive German arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, a key figure in scandals which rocked Germany's Christian Democratic party. "A letter from the minister authorizing the extradition was sent on October 31," Patrick Charette, a spokesman for Canada's justice ministry, told news agency AFP Thursday. But he said that Schreiber in November lodged a challenge to the minister's decision with the Court of Appeal in the Canadian province of Ontario which will be heard next year. Ontario's Superior Court had originally okayed the extradition of Schreiber, who has waged a long legal battle to avoid being sent back to Germany. But Schreiber also appealed that setback, and now both legal tracks will be examined by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Even if that body approves his expulsion from Canada, he still has recourse to appeal to the federal Supreme Court. Schreiber was arrested in Toronto in 1999, on a German warrant alleging tax evasion, corruption, bribery and breach of trust. The German government has alleged that Schreiber did not pay any income tax on around 20 million Canadian dollars (€12 million, 14.4 million US) he received between 1988 and 1993. He is also accused of bribing government officials in Germany to facilitate a 325 million dollar sale of tanks to Saudi Arabia in 1991.