The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 04/19/2013 12:52 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 04/19/2013 5:41 PM
TORONTO - A Canadian woman held for 18 months in Mexico for allegedly plotting to smuggle the son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi into the country has been released from prison, her father said Friday.
However, an emotional John MacDonald said he won't fully believe that his daughter, Cynthia (Cyndy) Vanier, is free until she's back in Canada.
"We don't want to say or do anything until we see the whites of her eyes and she's home," MacDonald said from Brampton, Ont.
"I just want to have a hold of her, that's all."
Vanier was in an immigration processing centre, MacDonald said, adding he was hoping to see her home "in the next day or two."
MacDonald said Vanier, 52, managed a brief early-morning call from outside the gates of the prison in Chetumal in southern Mexico to say she had been released and was being taken to an immigration centre.
He said he and his wife Betty had not been "completely in the dark" about the pending development and had been expecting the release for the past several days.
"Why they do it in the middle of the night, I have no idea," he said.
At the same time, he said, they were reluctant to talk about it until Vanier was in fact freed.
Vanier, who is originally from Mount Forest, Ont., was arrested in southern Mexico in November 2011.
Prosecutors alleged she and at least three others conspired to rent an airplane to sneak Al-Saadi Gadhafi and members of his family into Mexico. They alleged the attempt failed because the pilots refused to land secretly.
Vanier maintained her innocence throughout, saying her only connection to Libya was through Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, which had projects in the Middle Eastern country.
"It's been 18 too long months that's all," MacDonald said.
"Why it took so long, the whole process, is just something we don't understand."
The release apparently followed a decision from a tribunal of the Supreme Court of Mexico that upheld her appeal against her arrest and detention.
Her family maintained Canada wasn't informed of her incarceration until she was behind bars for four days and said she was held without charge for longer than Mexico's laws allowed.
Her mother has also said the incarceration took a toll on Vanier — she had been ill with fevers, stomach problems and, at one point, required surgery.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Property tax increase capped, but frontage levies, garbage fees to increase
The Hockey News proclaims Jets '2019 Stanley Cup champions' in annual Future Watch issue
Property tax or not a property tax — that is the question
72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash
No selfie sticks, museum says
RCMP lay charges against man in Beausejour store attack
Project Distress target pleads guilty to drug charges
Bird counts still being tallied, but number of birders up in Great Backyard Count
TSN apologizes for offensive Phaneuf tweet
Flu ravaging nursing homes
Roseau River teen's death a homicide, RCMP say
Windsor cops probe secret online sex shows
Neepawa blaze proves costly: $3M
Manitoba moves into tie for third at Brier
Pair pleads 'drunken stupidity'
Bombers sign Millington, Pierre
Stempniak surprised, but excited to join Jets
Two legends, one team being inducted into Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame
Levin pleads guilty to child porn charges
Cost of Neepawa blaze pegged at $3M
Forgiving the unthinkable
Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress
Ready, set, go
Feds quietly canvass provinces for GHG action
Housing affordability in Manitoba improving: report
Great-West acquires U.K.'s Equitable Life Assurance Society
Chill sets in over anti-terror laws
Netanyahu warns US 'bad deal' would put Iran on nuclear path
NHL trade deadline winners and losers
Book of Mormon to hold pre-show lotteries
Shiny new tech can't distract from CSI spinoff's deficiencies
It's not us, it's them, think-tank says
Prejudice in the court
Support flows for attacked couple
Cold today and tonight, but warmer weather on the way
Jordan, other NBA owners join Forbes' billionaire list
March to be colder than normal: forecast
India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform
Hungary makes nuclear deal with Russia a 30-year secret
Nigel Wright called to testify at Duffy trial