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

Science fair draws best junior scientists from Vancouver Island to Victoria

200 young science enthusiasts share their inventions and discoveries at UVic

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farm Whisperer tackles tough subject of farm succession

Linda Geggie is executive director with CR-FAIR

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read