Canadian accused in Gadhafi plot returns home from Mexico
Cyndy Vanier released after 18 months in Mexican prison
The Canadian woman accused of masterminding a plot to smuggle the son of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to Mexico is now back on Canadian soil after spending the last year and a half in a Mexican prison.
Cyndy Vanier arrived without incident at Toronto’s Pearson airport late Saturday night and was greeted by friends and family. She did not address the media.
Originally from Mount Forest, Ont., Vanier spent much of the last 18 months in a prison on the Mexico-Belize border. She was released Friday morning after a tribunal of the Supreme Court of Mexico upheld her appeal.
Vanier's co-accused, Gabriella de Cueto, was also ordered released and left the prison early Friday morning. Two other co-accused, Pierre Flensborg of Denmark and Mexican Jose Luis Kenney Prieto, remain in prison.
They are accused forging passports in an unsuccessful attempt to smuggle Saadi Gadhafi, the son of Libya's former dictator, to a secret safe house near Puerto Vallarta.
The four were arrested in Mexico City in early November 2011 as they were set to meet with a financial vice-president for SNC-Lavalin, Canada's largest engineering firm.
Vanier had challenged the grounds for her arrest and detention, alleging various violations — including being denied access to a lawyer and her embassy when she was arrested.
She also challenged the validity of the evidence Mexican prosecutors used to detain her. The Mexican Supreme Court tribunal issued a 700-page decision Monday.
The Supreme Court ruling interrupts what has been an ongoing trial on the criminal charges, and is not a decision regarding Vanier's guilt or innocence regarding the plot to smuggle the Gadhafis out of Libya in the dying days of the regime. Vanier faces no charges in Canada.