from the Toronto Star Aug 10, 2009 07:44 PM
THE CANADIAN PRESS
DNA tests have confirmed a Toronto woman marooned in Kenya really is who she says she is.
Somali-born Suaad Hagi Mohamud has been stuck in Nairobi for more than two months after she was told her lips did not match her passport photo when she tried to travel home.
Mohamud says she is glad the "nightmare is finally over."
Her Canadian lawyer Raoul Boulakia says the 99.9 per cent positive test results means no one can dispute his client’s identity any longer.
Boulakia says he is bringing a motion asking the Federal Court to order the government to issue Mohamud an emergency passport to repatriate her back to Canada.
He says he hopes the Canadian government will ask Kenya to drop all charges against Mohamud, which include using another person’s passport and being in Kenya illegally.
The charges were laid as a result of the Canadian government saying Mohamud was not who her passport said she was.
"I’m confident the Kenyan court will release her from her bond and let her travel once the Canadian government does that," said Boulakia.
Boulakia said the length of time it will take for Mohamud to touch down in Toronto depends on how soon the government takes action.
"They could get it done in a day or two if they felt like it," he said. "I don’t know what they really will do."
Mohamud, 31, spent a month visiting her mother in Kenya and was on her way back to Canada when an officer stopped her at Nairobi airport May 21, saying she did not look like her four-year-old passport photo.
At the crux of the matter was the size of her lips.
After spending eight days in jail she was released on bail with no travel documents.
Canadian consular officials said she was an "impostor," voided her passport and sent the case to Kenyan authorities for prosecution.
As Mohamud showed various pieces of ID, volunteered fingerprints and garnered the attention of media across the country, the Canadian government maintained their stance that she was not the citizen she claimed to be.
Speaking from her hotel room in Nairobi, Mohamud said she was relieved the genetic testing had confirmed what she had been saying all along.
"They have to get ready to bring me back home," she said.
Mohamud said she longs to get back to Toronto and be with her 12-year-old son again.
"It’s really hard," she said. "I won’t be relaxed until I come home."
Canada footed the $800 bill for the genetic testing which compared Mohamud’s DNA with that of her son.