Windsor

Salim Alaradi preparing to return to Canada after detention in U.A.E

Salim Alaradi, the Libyan-Canadian businessman released after more than two years in a United Arab Emirates prison, is safe in Istanbul, according to his lawyer Paul Champ.

Receiving medical care in Istanbul, will be reunited with his family soon

Salim-Alaradi is shown greeting family in Istanbul after leaving the United Arab Emirates. (Free Salim Alaradi/Youtube)

Salim Alaradi, the Libyan-Canadian businessman released after more than two years in a United Arab Emirates prison, is safe in Istanbul and preparing to return to Canada, according to his lawyer Paul Champ.

After his recovery in Istanbul, Champ and Alaradi's daughter Marwa Alaradi say the family will be returning to Windsor, Ont. within the next week, where they plan to settle.

"Salim is ecstatic to be released and happy to be returning to Windsor soon," Champ said.

Alaradi was allowed to leave the U.A.E last week after a lengthy legal process. It began with a 17-month detention before he was charged with funding terrorist groups in Libya. Those charges were eventually dropped. Alaradi was ultimately acquitted for the lesser charge of collecting donations without permission.  

"Last week in particular was really quite the roller coaster," Champ told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette.

Alaradi was acquitted last Monday but was not immediately released. He was freed from prison a day later but could not leave the country until the end of the day Thursday when Canadian diplomats escorted him to a flight to Turkey.

After arriving in Turkey on Friday, Alaradi immediately went to hospital for medical care. Photos appear to show dramatic weight loss after Alaradi's time in prison. Though doctors believe his condition is fine, doctors continue to test him and he's still in pain from injuries suffered while in prison, Champ said. 

Marwa Alaradi created this side-by-side portrait to show how her father's appearance changed after his detainment in the U.A.E (Marwa Alaradi/Twitter)

"This is the first step in his long road towards recovery and rebuilding his life," Champ said. "After being thrown in jail for two years, he's got to rebuild his career, his family and his health."

Before making their way to Windsor, the Alaradi family will be reunited in Istanbul within the next few days. It will be the first time since his imprisonment that Alaradi will see Marwa in person.  

She led the social media campaign for her father's freedom and advocated for her father through Twitter, Facebook and videos. She often sent tweets to the account associated with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

"Marwa has been amazing. She really picked up the torch for the family and I'm sure Salim is proud of her as well," Champ said.

With files from CBC Windsor Morning and Tony Doucette

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