OTTAWA - The Liberals want the Harper government to settle a $2-million lawsuit and apologize to a Toronto woman who was left stranded in Kenya.

The Opposition party also suggested Tuesday the Prime Minister's Office knew about Suaad Mohamud's plight since Canada Day - much sooner than earlier indicated - but didn't act for weeks afterward to get her home.

Mohamud is suing the government, alleging "callous and reckless" treatment by Canadian officials.

While extremely rare for the prime minister to get involved in a consular case, Stephen Harper did get involved in the Mohamud file, he told the Commons.

"I did in early August. I asked that Ms. Mohamud be brought back to Canada," said Harper.

The Liberals based their accusations on an examination of government documents, including emails, in the Mohamud case.

Two emails were sent July 1 by the director of communications for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, requesting media lines for the prime minister in response to a Toronto Star article on Mohamud published that morning, said the Liberals.

"These documents reveal a shocking indifference by Mr. Harper," said Liberal MP Joe Volpe.

"They show government officials scrambling to keep media and elected officials at bay - while doing nothing to help Ms. Mohamud - with Prime Minister Harper in the loop for a full six weeks of inaction."

Mohamud was allowed to return to Canada in August, but only after she was stranded in Kenya for three months and only after court-ordered DNA tests proved her identity.

Ottawa is fighting Mohamud's suit, with a statement of defence that includes testimonials from Canadian officials who had maintained that Mohamud was an impostor.

But the evidence proving the woman's identity is overwhelming, and the government needs to stop fighting her suit, said Liberal MP Bob Rae.

"The government of Canada should recognize it has made a mistake, take measures to ensure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again, and the rights of Canadian citizens are protected when they're travelling abroad, and make a fulsome apology to Madame Mohamud," said Rae.

"Settle the case."

Affidavits filed in court show the first Canadian official to interview Mohamud felt she didn't look like her passport photo and suspected she was actually the woman's sister.

The documents say the official thought she was an impostor because the woman bore a family resemblance and an immigration application said she had a younger sister.

Born in Somalia, Mohamud immigrated to Canada 10 years ago and holds only Canadian citizenship.

She was prevented from flying out of Kenya on May 21 after a KLM airlines employee disputed that she was the woman pictured in her passport document and passed her to Kenyan authorities.

A week later, the Canadian High Commission sent a letter to the Kenyans stating Mohamud was an impostor and surrendered her passport to them "for the purposes of prosecution."

In mid-August, the prime minister told reporters he had learned of Mohamud's case just a week earlier, and that he asked officials for a thorough review of how the file was handled to determine whether a further inquiry should be conducted.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/0...kenya_stranded