From the Toronto Star Aug 19, 2009 04:30 AM
The Canadian diplomat who officially disowned Suaad Hagi Mohamud as an "imposter" has been recalled from Kenya.
Liliane Khadour has "concluded" her posting, a consular official at the Canadian High Commission said yesterday from the capital, Nairobi.
"Her tour of duty is over," he said, explaining that Foreign Affairs employees rotate posts every two or three years, and Khadour had been in Nairobi for two. "I am not very sure where she went."
Khadour is now in Ottawa.
Although she owns a condominium apartment there with her partner, Jason Joyce, the two are staying at a downtown hotel. Both had been working at the commission in Nairobi as first secretaries.
When reached by cellphone yesterday, Joyce hung up almost immediately. Neither answered the phone in their hotel room or returned messages.
The Canada Border Services Agency has opened an internal investigation into the handling of Mohamud’s case.
The Somali-born Canadian citizen, an employee of an Etobicoke courier company, had been visiting her mother in Nairobi when she ran into trouble.
On May 21, a Kenyan employee of KLM airlines challenged Mohamud’s passport photo at the Nairobi departure gate as she was trying to board a flight home to Toronto and her 12-year-old son, she has said.
Canadian consular officials interviewed her at the airport on May 22 and sided against her. On May 25, Mohamud appealed to the high commission to take her fingerprints.
And on May 28, Khadour sent a letter to Kenyan authorities that sealed Mohamud’s fate.
"Please be advised that we have carried out conclusive investigations including an interview," Khadour wrote, signing herself vice-consul, first secretary (consular).
"And (we) have confirmed that the person brought to the Canadian High Commission on suspicion of being an imposter is not the rightful holder of the aforementioned passport.
"The Canadian High Commission is releasing the passport to your office for the purposes of prosecution," Khadour wrote to Michael Ojwang, director of Kenyan immigration services.
The letter alleged Mohamud was carrying a passport not her own and was in Kenya illegally.
These are serious charges that could have led to a Kenyan prison sentence or deportation to her native Somalia.
Mohamud was arrested and held for eight days in a women’s prison before friends were able to post her bail.
But, it turns out, there was no conclusive Canadian investigation. Mohamud was no imposter.
And although it took her three months and a DNA test to prove her identity to Canadian consular officials and two federal departments, Mohamud was in fact the rightful holder of the Canadian passport she was carrying.
Last Friday, after conclusive DNA results, the Kenyans dropped all charges against the 31-year-old single mother and the next day she returned to her son, Mohamed Hussein, and a hero’s welcome at Pearson International Airport.
Since then, she has been undergoing tests for a persistent cough and weight loss, symptoms that have nagged her since her eight-day stay in Nairobi’s Langata Women’s Prison in June.
Chest x-rays have ruled out any serious lung illness such as tuberculosis or pneumonia, her lawyer Raoul Boulakia has said.
"She’s extremely relieved to be in Canada and to be with her son," he said yesterday.
Legal proceedings have begun in federal court to obtain Mohamud’s disputed passport and case file, Boulakia said, adding the case is expected to be heard next month.
Asked whether his client plans to sue, Boulakia said:
"I’d like to see her get compensation. She deserves it … but I’d rather see her not go to court."
With files from The Canadian Press