October 3, 2009 — Government documents that claim a Canadian woman
stranded in Kenya for three months gave contradictory statements to
consular officials are irrelevant, the lawyer representing her said
Raoul Boulakia said the government documents, filed Monday in Federal
Court, do not explain why the government took until August to admit
Suaad Hagi Mohamud's identity.
Mohamud, a Canadian citizen born in Somalia, had been visiting her
ailing mother in Kenya and was held at the Nairobi airport on May 21.
Boulakia said the affidavits show a migration integrity officer compared
a photograph of Suaad when she entered Nairobi airport with a photo
taken when she was questioned by Canadian officials on May 22 when she
was trying to leave to return to Canada.
The official said she looked "inexplicably different" in the two
pictures, said Boulakia.
The first picture was taken with a fisheye lens which makes her face
look wider and the second was taken with a normal lens, said Boulakia.
"She also looks happy in the first photograph at the start of her
vacation and in the second photograph she is crying," he added.
Boulakia said he finds the claim that she looks different "quite
He also dismissed government documents that alleged she made other
contradictory statements or didn't know details about Toronto, where she
lived for a decade, or couldn't name Lake Ontario.
"If the government wants to give us all the information that they have
all they need to do is file everything with the court," said Boulakia.
He said "this is all totally irrelevant to why it took them so long to
admit her identity."
Mohamud was charged on May 28 with identity fraud and spent eight days
in a Kenyan jail before being released on bail but without documents
needed to travel.
After DNA tests finally proved her identity, the charges were dropped
and she was allowed to return to Toronto and be reunited with her
12-year-old son, Mohamed Hussein, on Aug. 15.
Mohamud and her family are suing the Canadian government for $2.6
million in damages claiming defamation, malicious prosecution and
Source: CTV, Sept 29, 2009