Canada

Lamont and Spencer return home

Christine Lamont and David Spencer landed in Abbotsford, British Columbia Saturday morning, ending their nine year stay in a Brazilian prison.

They were immediately whisked away to a local prison.

"I didn't hear any of them speak. They were quiet, co-operative and they went through in an orderly manner" said RCMP Sgt. David Mabee, who co-ordinated the couple's transfer through Canadian customs

The two Canadians flew out of Brazil Friday night and arrived in Toronto just before six on Saturday morning, where they transferred to an RCMP jet waiting on the tarmac.

The pair served nine years of their 28-year sentences for kidnapping the owner of Brazil's largest supermarket chain. The two Canadians were part of a group of 10 people who kidnapped Brazilian tycoon Abilio Diniz in 1989, demanding a ransom of $30 million US. They planned to use the money to fund leftist guerrillas in El Salvador. But the kidnapping was foiled before payment of the money, and Diniz was freed unharmed.

Lamont and Spencer denied their guilt for six years but finally admitted two years ago to taking part the crime. Less than a week ago they went on another hunger strike to press for their repatriation.

Their lawyer says the two will have served a third of their sentences as of next month, and will be applying for parole.

Lamont is from Langley, British Columbia and Spencer is from Moncton, New Brunswick.

Christine Lamont's mother, Marilyn Lamont, was among family and friends on the tarmac at Abbotsford airport Saturday morning. She said she's happy her long fight to have her daughter returned to Canada has finally paid off.

Bill Spencer, David Spencer's father, thanked the public for keeping the case in the spotlight.

It's now up to Corrections Canada to determine how much more time Lamont and Spencer will have to serve.