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Adnan Sami sues Canadian government

July 10, 2004


TORONTO, July 9: Pop singer Adnan Sami Khan has sued the Canadian government for $30 million in connection with an immigration raid that ended with his son being whisked away, according to a report published in Canada's National Post newspaper here.

The lawsuit, whose pre-trial hearing is set for July 15, is rooted in one of Pakistan's most publicized child-custody battles - a seven-year fight between Adnan Sami and his ex-wife Zeba Bakhtiar, an actress who has also starred in Bollywood films.

The newspaper said the dispute had taken a dramatic turn on Canadian soil in 1998, when immigration officials stormed the Oakville home where Adnan Sami was living with the couple's four-year old son, Azaan. Later that night, the boy was on his way back home with his mother, while his father - accused of kidnapping him - sat in a Toronto jail.

Adnan Sami, who has not seen his son since, continues to insist that he had legal custody of the boy. Had immigration officers conducted a 'proper' investigation, his lawsuit claims, he would have never missed the last six years of Azaan's life.

Adnan Sami was forced to stand helpless while Azaan was "terrorized and forcibly removed from his family and him," reads his statement of claim filed in the Federal Court here.

"This caused tremendous suffering for the plaintiff which persists to this day. It also left a huge hole in his bank account," according to the suit. The singer claims that he was forced to cancel $25 million worth of concerts and other recording obligations. He is demanding the Canadian government pay an additional $5 million for what he called malicious prosecution.