Court hears des­per­ate plea for ran­som pay­ment

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS -

OT­TAWA — Af­ter a year in cap­tiv­ity, Amanda Lind­hout begged her mother dur­ing a fran­tic phone call to quickly come up with a hefty ran­som be­cause her So­ma­lian ab­duc­tors had started to tor­ture her.

In a record­ing of the Septem­ber 2009 call played in court Wed­nes­day, Lind­hout told her mother, Lorinda Ste­wart, that she had been beaten while her legs and hands were tied. And she said her cap­tors would abuse her ev­ery day un­til the money was paid.

“You have to pay the money now. Where is the money?” a pan­icked Lind­hout says. “Do you un­der­stand what they’re do­ing to me?”

Lind­hout was a free­lance jour­nal­ist from Red Deer, Alta., when she and Aus­tralian pho­tog­ra­pher Nigel Bren­nan were seized near Mo­gadishu in Au­gust 2008 while work­ing on a story. Both were re­leased in Novem­ber 2009.

Ali Omar Ader, a 40-year-old So­mali na­tional, has pleaded not guilty in On­tario Su­pe­rior Court to a crim­i­nal charge of hostage-tak­ing for his al­leged role.

Upon hear­ing her daugh­ter’s pleas from half a world away, Ste­wart tried to as­sure her she was do­ing her best to come up with the US$2 mil­lion the kid­nap­pers were de­mand­ing for re­lease of the pair.


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