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Sentencing arguments in Lindhout kidnapping case set for March

Saturday January 6, 2018
By Jim Bronskill

Ali Omar Ader is shown in court in an artist's sketch. A man accused of holding Amanda Lindhout hostage in Somalia says he was threatened with death if he didn't help the gang that seized her nine years ago.Testifying Monday in Ontario Superior Court, Ali Omar Ader said he had no role in the plan to kidnap Lindhout, who was working as a journalist near Mogadishu in August 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning

OTTAWA – Sentencing arguments are slated for March 22 in the case of a Somalian man found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout.

The one-day hearing will help Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith decide a sentence for Ali Omar Ader, who faces up to life in prison.

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Smith ruled in December that Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, was a “willing participant” in the 2008 hostage-taking of Lindhout, who was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu at the time.

The judge found much of Ader’s testimony was unbelievable and did not support his claim that he was forced into serving as a negotiator and translator on behalf of a gang who threatened to harm him and his family.

Lindhout, raised in Red Deer, Alta., and photographer Nigel Brennan of Australia were snatched by armed men while pursuing a story, the beginning of 15 months in captivity.

The RCMP lured Ader to Canada on the pretext of signing a lucrative book-publishing deal, leading to his arrest in Ottawa in June 2015.

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