Dr. Salahaddin Mahmudi Azer (right) left the country with his children (pictured

Updated: Charges against alleged kidnapper Saren Azer dropped in Iran

Canadian government did not attend court hearing

  • Aug. 6, 2016 7:00 p.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Certain charges against Saren Azer, regarding the alleged abduction of his four children from his ex-wife, Alison Azer, have been dropped.

As was reported by the Comox Valley Record in July, Saren Azer was arrested in Iran in June, and released on bail. (Saren emailed The Record a week later, refuting reports of the arrest in Iran.)

In an interview with Global News, Alison claimed inaction by the Canadian government in the case has led to the dismissal of those charges against her husband.

Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament Gord Johns told The Record the absence of any Canadian officials at the court proceedings in Iran shows a complete disregard by the Canadian government and he holds the Canadian government responsible for the dropping of the charges.

“The government had the opportunity to make the decisions necessary to make sure that the Iranian authorities are understanding the importance of this file and the importance of returning these children to Canada,” said Johns. “They (Canadian government) have failed to act. When Dr. Azer was in court, the Canadian government was nowhere to be found.

“That’s what we are understanding from the court documents; they are wondering why Canada had not submitted anything around the file.”

Johns went on to say that the Canadian government was aware of the proceedings in Iran, implying it was a choice by the government not to pursue the matter.

“When the RCMP were notified by Interpol that they were serving on a red notice, that was the first opportunity for Canada to finally act on a 10-month-old file. Instead what they did was they politically interfered at a time that was critical in this case, against their promise that they wouldn’t interject in an RCMP file.

“The Iranians reached out to Canada, and by doing so, it showed good will on behalf of the Iranian authorities  – I don’t know why they would have reached out to Canadian authorities if they did not want to co-operate. So for Canada to then interject – Global Affairs, politically – in the matter, and stop the RCMP from communicating further with the Iranian authorities is clearly meddling; political interference. We have huge concerns.”

Last August, Dr. Salahaddin Mahmudi Azer (Saren), a Comox Valley resident, left the country with his four children –  Sharvahn Delahn Mahmudi-Azer, 11, Rojevahn Beritan Mahmudi-Azer, 9, Dersim Baran Mahmudi-Azer, 7, and Meitan Serbast Mahmudi-Azer, 3 – on a court-approved holiday to Europe. They never returned.

Canadian and Kurdish authorities confirmed that Saren and the children landed at the Sulaymaniyah airport in Northern Iraq on Aug. 15, 2015.

On Aug. 24, 2015, Comox Valley RCMP sought and obtained a Canada Wide Warrant of Arrest for Azer, in relation to charges of Abduction in Contravention of a Custody Order, contrary to Section 282 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Saren and the children were tracked to the Middle East and eventually located, however, Saren refused to release them.

Saren and the children allegedly relocated to Iran in early 2016.

The Interpol red notice alert for Saren remains active.

(http://www.interpol.int/notice/search/wanted/2015-58341)

That alert cites charges as “Abduction in Contravention of Custody Order (X 4)” and states Saren is wanted by the judicial authorities in Canada for prosecution.

The Record continues to pursue the story and will update as more information becomes available.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Police presence at Anna Place in Courtenay

Situation resolved peacefully

Summer seasonal farmers’ markets now open in the Comox Valley

Downtown Courtenay and Cumberland hosting outdoor markets

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Most Read