Lindhout’s Mother Pleaded for Daughter’s Freedom During Tense Phone Calls

October 11, 2017 Updated: October 11, 2017

OTTAWA—Amanda Lindhout’s mother pleaded with one of her daughter’s alleged Somalian kidnappers to lower a $2-million ransom demand, saying her family wasn’t rich and had little money to offer.

In a series of tense telephone recordings played in court on Oct. 11, Lorinda Stewart tells accused negotiator Ali Omar Ader that she simply wants to see her daughter again.

Lindhout, now 36, 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.

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

During an August 2009 call, Stewart points out to Ader that if Lindhout and Brennan are killed, the kidnappers will receive nothing.

Ader tells her the men holding the pair want nothing less than $2 million—not the $319,000 that was being offered at that point for their release.

Ader was arrested in Ottawa in June 2015 after RCMP lured him to Canada through a scheme promising him a book-publishing deal.

As the trial continues, witnesses from Alberta, the United States, Europe, and Australia, are expected to testify.

From The Canadian Press