Amanda lind­hout begged mother to pay ran­som after se­vere beat­ing

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - NATIONAL NEWS - Jim Bronskill

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.

“amanda, we love you,” she says. “We are try­ing so hard, amanda. The gov­ern­ment will not help us. We are sell­ing ev­ery­thing we can.”

by this point, lind­hout and bren­nan’s fam­i­lies had man­aged to scrape to­gether us$434,000 by sell­ing ve­hi­cles, farm ma­chin­ery and prop­erty. stewart asked ader sev­eral times to per­suade “the group” to lower the amount de­manded, telling him dur­ing a se­ries of tense phone calls the fam­i­lies were not rich, there was no in­sur­ance money and the cana­dian and aus­tralian gov­ern­ments would not pay a ran­som as a mat­ter of pol­icy.

“you are mak­ing our fam­ily suf­fer,” stewart says dur­ing one call.

“you need to come down. We don’t have that money.”

ader replies: “What we want is to get that money, and that money is $2 mil­lion.”

stewart then asks ader, “What does al­lah think about what you do?”

ader re­mains unswayed. “We need $2 mil­lion.”

stewart in­sisted to ader she was not ly­ing or play­ing games with him. “We want our chil­dren home and we are do­ing the best we can,” she says. “how can i get money that i don’t have?”

ader sat ex­pres­sion­less in the pris­oner’s box, his an­kles shack­led, as he lis­tened to the eight-year-old record­ings.

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