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Despite efforts to convince him to return their daughter, who was born in Syria and is a Canadian citizen, Mahdi said the accused refused, offering her “two conditions.
“Either to go to Iraq or to give him sole custody in Canada,” the mother said.
Al Aazawi was arrested April 4, 2019, at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after he returned to Canada without the girl.
In a series of texts exchanged between mother and daughter early on in the girl’s stay in Iraq, Zahraa expressed a desire to come home and fear her father wouldn’t return her to Canada.
Mahdi, who was “panicked” when she first learned Al Aazawi had taken their daughter to Iraq, attempted to calm Zahraa in the messages by saying her father wasn’t serious in his claims he wouldn’t bring her back.
“I want to calm her down,” she explained, of messages in which she told her daughter to enjoy her time there.
“She’s a kid.”
But she said Al Aazawi insisted he wanted the girl to be brought up in an environment free of Instagram and boyfriends.
Mahdi testified she hadn’t heard from her daughter in nearly a year when she received a phone call last week from her ex-husband’s brother.
The man told her he had Zahraa with him and if she expressed a desire to return to Canada after talking to her mother he’d put her on the next plane.
The girl then got on the line and berated her mother, court was told.
“You are the one who put my dad in jail, get out of my life, I don’t want you anymore,” Mahdi quoted her daughter.
The trial continues Wednesday.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts