Lindhout kidnapper loses court bid for confidential info to help possible appeal

OTTAWA — A Somalian man convicted of taking Amanda Lindhout hostage has lost a court bid for confidential information he says could help with a possible effort to overturn the guilty verdict.

A new Federal Court of Appeal ruling dismisses Ali Omar Ader’s attempt to see sensitive files gathered during a criminal investigation of the kidnapping.

Ader faces a potentially lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of hostage-taking late last year.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith called Ader a “willing participant” in the 2008 kidnapping of Lindhout, who was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu at the time.

Behind the scenes, proceedings played out in Federal Court over prosecution service concerns about classified information that, if disclosed during the trial, could harm international relations, security or defence.

A Federal Court ruling confirmed last fall that a number of documents must remain confidential because the competing interests weighed in favour of protecting the information — prompting Ader’s application to the Court of Appeal.

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