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August 1, 2013

Volume 8 No. 64

519-633-1640 • www.theweeklynews.ca

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Justice for family after 20 years

JESSE CNOCKAERT The Weekly News

After 20 years of heartache and anguish, a 20-year child abduction case from St. Thomas has reached a conclusion. On July 24, Benham Slim, a now 52-yearold former St. Thomas baker who, in 1993, whisked his three young daughters away from their mother and took them to Lebanon, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison by Justice Gregory Pokele. The case began in June, 1993, when St. Thomas Police were dispatched to a Park Ave. address in regards to a parental abduction of three girls, ages two, five and seven years old. St. Thomas Police Chief Darryl Pinell, who was the lead investigator at that time, said that at first it took several days of investigation to be sure what they were dealing with. It’s not unusual to have missing children, but cases where the children are taken away from the country are stranger. “Unfortunately once we confirmed he had made it to Lebanon, we were really in a holding pattern,” said Chief Pinell. Lebanon is not included in the Hague Convention, and there is no extradition treaty in place between Lebanon and Canada. An arrest warrant was obtained for three counts of abduction against Slim in 1993. After some over-the-phone contact, Slim returned to Canada, without his daughters, in 1997. Upon his return, Slim was arrested and turned over to St. Thomas Police. Slim pleaded not guilt to the abduction charges and his trial started. Through very difficult negotiations, Slim was released from custody with the understanding he would return to Canada with his daughters. Slim was told if he did return with his daughters, consideration would be given to withdrawing the criminal charges. See CHILD, Page 2

JOHN MORROW PHOTO

Captain Joe Tilley prepares to welcome passengers aboard his Tall Ship, Liana’s Ransom, during Harbourfest, held July 26-28.

Setting sail with Harbourfest JOHN MORROW

Weekly News Correspondent

Everywhere you looked, people were pointing and reaching for their cameras as three Tall Ships sailed into Port Stanley harbour for the July 26-28 Harbourfest weekend. Many of those attending the annual celebration opted for a Tall Ship cruise or a shipboard tour of The Challenge, Liana’s Ransom or Fair Jeanne, docked along the west side of the harbour.

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The Berm hosted excitement of another kind: entertainers such as, The Beagles, a Beatles tribute band, and Juno award winner Jack de Keyzer, who gave free concerts. Visitors there also enjoyed the midway rides and games. War of 1812 re-enactors thrilled the crowd who gathered to watch a battle on Little Beach. Their musket fire echoed the canon blasts emanating from the tall ships in the harbour. “Harbourfest was a big success despite lots of high winds and some rain. There

were tons of people in town and the ships were amazing. The Port Stanley BIA hopes that everyone who came down had a great time!” said Carol Gates, local business owner and member of the Harbourfest organizing committee. As the last of the tall ships disappeared over the horizon and the crowds headed home, it’s expected visitors will be returning another time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Blue Flag Beach and the many permanent attractions in Port Stanley. t40'"4t$)"*34 t-".14t5"#-&4 t%*/&55&4t#&%4 t'*3&1-"$&4t"11-*"/$&4


Aug 1, 2013