Amanda Lindhout is photographed in Toronto on Monday, October 16 , 2017, as she helps promote her mother Lorinda Stewart’s book “One Day Closer.” A tearful Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Sobbing Amanda Lindhout says kidnapping inflicted emotional, physical scars

A tearful Amanda Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia.

A tearful Amanda Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday for hostage-taker Ali Omar Ader, Lindhout said the sexual assault, beatings and emotional trauma she suffered in captivity filled her with pain and self-loathing.

“I was a young woman wanting to rebuild my life,” Lindhout told a hushed courtroom. “But the abuse had made me hate myself.”

Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, faces up to life in prison after being convicted of hostage-taking late last year.

Related: Sobbing Amanda Lindhout tells of abduction as kidnapping trial begins

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith ruled that Ader was a “willing participant” in the 2008 kidnapping of Lindhout, who was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu at the time.

The judge found little to believe in Ader’s testimony, saying it 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 as hostages.

Years after their release, 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.

Lindhout said her brutal confinement left her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, the inability to sustain friendships, insomnia, nightmares, digestive problems and broken teeth.

“For years after my release I couldn’t really believe I was free.”

Lindhout said she wished good things for Brennan as well as Ader’s wife and five children in Somalia.

Brennan also read a victim impact statement, saying he too has suffered from post-traumatic stress, panic attacks and nightmares. Being forced to hear Lindhout’s screams from torture in an adjoining room is “a memory that will mentally stay with me for the rest of my life,” he said.

Brennan said his friendship with Lindhout had deteriorated as a result of the horrendous events, and that they had not spoken in almost seven years.

Still, Brennan said he no longer had hatred in his heart toward Ader and does not want him to spend his life behind bars. He stressed the importance of forgiveness and urged the judge to “show leniency.”

Samir Adam, one of Ader’s lawyers, said a sentence of between 10 to 12 years in prison would be appropriate.

Ader read a statement in which he expressed remorse, saying he was human and therefore flawed.

“I am sorry, I apologize and ask you for forgiveness,” he said, requesting freedom so he could care for his family in Somalia.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read