Ali Omar Adar says he lied to undercover agents when he boasted getting $10,000 for his role as negotiator in the Amanda Lindhout hostage-taking.
In the second day of testimony, the man accused of helping a Somali terror group continued to say he was forced against his will to participate in the kidnapping.
Adar is charged for his alleged role as a negotiator and translator. He’s accused of making the calls to the families of Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan and demanding ransom.
The pair were held for 15 months in what Lindhout described in court as “460 days of hell.”
WATCH: Amanda Lindhout trial hears testimony about torture
Adar was arrested in June of 2015 in Ottawa, lured to Canada on a promise of a publishing deal. Adar wanted to write a book about the history of Somalia entitled Slow Genocide.
In an elaborate sting operation RCMP agents posed at literary agents and book publishers promising Adar a book deal.
During meetings in Mauritius and Ottawa, Adar told undercover officers that he was paid $10,000 dollars for his role in the kidnapping. Tuesday he told the court it was a lie meant to impress the so-called publishers.
He claims that he tried to tell them the truth but that the agents “weren’t interested”.
Crown Prosecutor Croft Michaelson pressed him suggesting the story of being kidnapped himself and escaping would have been more impressive than being a simple translator.
“Wouldn’t it have made more sense when you met with him to tell him that you had been taken captive rather than you had been acting as the negotiator for the hostage takers?”, demanded Michaelson.
“I tried, but if a person doesn’t want to listen I can’t control the person. Therefore I focused on telling him what he liked,” said Adar.
Adar worried that if he didn’t tell the agent what he wanted to hear the book deal could be in jeopardy.
Hidden camera footage played in court shows Adar telling undercover police officers that he was invited to be the translator for the group that took Lindhout and Brennan hostage.
WATCH: Amanda Lindhout opens up about RCMP charges (June 2017)
Monday Adar told the court how he was taken at gunpoint by the group of terrorists and forced to translate conversations between the Brennan and Lindhout families and the captors.
Adar said, he was also tortured by the group when he refused to make a call to demand ransom. The Somali man escaped at one point but returned to the group when they allegedly attacked his family.
Michaelson noted when Adar escaped his captors he was staying with his sister who was a police officer, living in the government controlled area of Mogadishu. An area that was considered relatively safe at the time. Still Adar didn’t tell government officials that he had been kidnapped nor did he tell them that Lindhout and Brennan were being held captive.
“What about your sister, your sister’s a police officer, you’re living with her?” insisted Michaelson.
“The government had no power to capture and prosectute them in a court of law,” said Adar under cross-examination.
Even though the group allegedly attacked his family, he surrendered to them and even moved his wife and children into the same house with his alleged captors and up to 20 gunmen
“I had no other option,” explained Adar “That was the only way for me, my wife and my child to live safely”.
After hours of cross-examination, his patience seemingly wearing thin, Michaelson bluntly came to his point.
“I’m suggesting to you that everything you’ve told this court today is a largely untruthful. That in fact what you told [the undercover agent] was the truth,” said Michaelson.
“Somalis say you cannot get away from the truth and the truth does not die” responded an unwavering Adar.
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