The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian woman held 18 months in Gadhafi smuggling plot leaves Mexican jail

  • Print

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.

Fact Check

Fact Check

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.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Free Press 27 cent digital payment system

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should NDP MLAs sign the "pledge of solidarity"?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google