A man charged with taking journalist Amanda Lindhout hostage in Somalia is slated to face trial by judge alone next October.
Three weeks have been set aside for the trial of Ali Omar Ader, which will come more than two years after he was arrested and over nine years after the abduction.
Watch below from June 2015: Amanda Lindhout is speaking out for the first time since the arrest of Ali Omar Ader for allegedly abducting her. She reveals that Ader tried to contact her last year and threatened her family. Reid Fiest reports.
Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were seized by masked gunmen near strife-scarred Mogadishu in August 2008. Both were released on Nov. 25, 2009.
Ader, a Somalian national, faces a criminal charge of hostage-taking for his purported role as a negotiator.
READ MORE: Amanda Lindhout responds to charges against her alleged captor
He was arrested by the RCMP in Ottawa in June 2015. The Mounties said Ader, 39, had been in town for a few days but the national police force has not publicly confirmed how he arrived in Canada.
At the time, RCMP Asst. Commissioner James Malizia said successfully prosecuting such a case “depends on a certain level of discretion.”
Watch below from June 12, 2015: In the first case of its kind, the RCMP have arrested a foreign national for kidnapping a Canadian. A man from Somalia was taken into custody in Ottawa, accused of abducting Amanda Lindhout in 2008. Vassy Kapelos looks at how a complex investigation finally produced results.
Pre-trial motions in the case are scheduled for early April. However, federal authorities have opted for a direct indictment, meaning there will be no preliminary inquiry.
The national prosecution service is saying little about the proceedings. However, in general, there are many reasons why a direct indictment may be preferable, including cases in which the age, health or other circumstances of witnesses would make it difficult for them to testify more than once.
Samir Adam, an Ottawa lawyer representing Ader, declined to discuss the case or his client.
Lindhout, 35, has published a best-selling memoir of her 460 days as a prisoner in which she revealed being assaulted in captivity. A Hollywood film of her story is in development.
READ MORE: Were Amanda Lindhout’s Somali captors the product of a failed state?
The native of Red Deer, Alta., has established the Global Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering leadership in Somalia through educational and community-based programs.
Watch below from October 2013: Humanitarian and journalist Amanda Lindhout joins Global News to talk about her new book.
In recent years she has also written articles and given speeches focusing on forgiveness, compassion, social responsibility and determination.
The RCMP’s mandate extends beyond Canada’s borders, where the extra-territorial provisions of the Criminal Code come into effect. The Mounties have acknowledged the help of the Canada Border Services Agency, Foreign Affairs and the Australian Federal Police.
Details of the lengthy probe – which involved undercover operations, surveillance and wiretaps – will emerge in court, Malizia said last year after Ader was charged.
READ MORE: Somali man charged in Amanda Lindhout kidnapping
“This investigation posed a number of significant challenges as it was carried out in an extremely high-risk environment in a country plagued with political instability.”
Malizia also lauded Lindhout, Brennan and their families for their courage and for providing witness statements that assisted the police investigation.
“The RCMP fully understands that criminal investigations and the ensuing prosecutions are difficult,” he said. “Victims and witnesses must relive events that they should not have had to endure in the first place.”
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