Calgary mother pleads for return of daughter from Iraq as girl's father convicted of abduction
Calgarian Zainab Mahdi last saw her daughter Zahraa in 2018. The girl's father has been found guilty of abduction after failing to return her to Canada. (supplied)
CALGARY -- A Calgary judge has found a father guilty of abducting his own daughter under the guise of a family holiday to Egypt.
Ali Al Aazawi, 38, was convicted on a charge of abduction Wednesday after failing to return his daughter Zahraa to the girl's mother following the 2018 trip abroad.
Zainab Mahdi, Zahraa's mother, had full custody and agreed to allow her daughter, who was 11 at the time, to travel with her father.
The presiding judge says Al Aazawi took the girl to Iraq instead and never planned to return her to Canada and her mother.
Al Aazawi was arrested upon his return to Canada in 2019 without his daughter.
The devastated mother has only heard her daughter's voice on three occasions over the last three years.
"I need the government to listen to my voice as a mom in pain that didn't see my daughter for almost three years and eight days," Mahdi told CTV News on Wednesday. "Where is my daughter?"
Al Aazawi has been released on bail ahead of his sentencing hearing that is currently scheduled for October. He faces up to 10 years in prison for his abduction conviction.
The court has no authority to order the return of Zahraa to Canada.