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Man Pleads Guilty in Hostage-Taking at Bahamian High Commission

April 4, 1986

OTTAWA (AP) _ A man who held the Bahamian vice-consul hostage for nearly 15 hours pleaded guilty today to unlawful confinement and other charges and said he felt remorse.

Clifford David Maltby, 39, took Vice-Consul Janet Rahming hostage at the High Commission of the Bahamas on Tuesday afternoon and said he was armed with a bomb, handgun and vial of hydrocholoric acid.

He demanded that an unused Ottawa firehall be turned over to the city’s destitute and that a friend, Tim Engen, 25, be released from the Kingston, Ontario, penitentiary.

Neither demand was met, and Maltby surrendered peacefully early Wednesday. Mrs. Rahming was not hurt.

Maltby pleaded guilty in Provincial Court to unlawful confinement, possession of a handgun dangerous to the public peace and threatening to murder Mrs. Rahming.

Maltby, acting as his own lawyer, told the court he never intended to harm Mrs. Rahming and felt ″a good deal of remorse.″

″It’s not a way to solve the problem,″ he said. ″ It will only lead to a good deal of anguish.″

But he said he still feels very strongly about the plight of street people and about Engen, who he said had gone thought ″every conceivable prison horror.″

″I’m the only friend he’s ever had. Timothy Engen is the only friend I’ve ever had,″ Maltby said.

Assistant prosecutor James Stewart later told reporters that other charges originally filed against Maltby would be dropped, including possession of explosives and other weapons charges.

Sgt. Keith Daniels told the court that Maltby was armed with a starter pistol that had been converted to fire .22-caliber bullets. He said police experts concluded the gun would have exploded if anyone had tried to fire it.

Mrs. Rahming said Maltby gained entrance to the High Commission offices at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday by posing as a courier.

She told reporters Wednesday that Maltby told her Liberal Leader John Turner was his first choice as a target. He said the High Commission was his alternative because it is a diplomatic office and the Bahamas are part of the Commonwealth.

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