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    Chandlers preparing to return home


    by ODN


    The British couple freed in Somalia 13 months after being kidnapped by pirates are preparing to fly home to the UK but are not expected to return on Monday.

    The freed pair Paul and Rachel Chandler have just learned of the death of Paul's father in late July and have stated that they "need to come to terms with that".

    The British couple added that they expect to return to the UK "very soon" but the news of Mr Chandlers' death has obviously come as a shock to the pair as they try to re-adjust to life outside of captivity.

    Only in July, speaking whilst still held hostage, Paul Chandler had told ITN: "My father, I hope he's still alive. I have no idea. He would have been 99 in June. These fellows don't give a damn. They really don't think we deserve to have a family."

    Paul, 60, and Rachel Chandler, 56, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, enjoyed their first night of freedom at the British High Commission in Nairobi on Sunday.

    The news came as it was revealed that a former London minicab driver who claimed to have masterminded the release of Paul and Rachel Chandler said he was "excited" about their freedom.

    Dahir Abdullahi Kadiye, 56, was reported to have negotiated their safe exit from the Somali pirates.

    The Somali Briton told Channel 4 News that he took on the job of hostage negotiator six months ago after his children said they felt ashamed when they watched the couple's appeals on television.

    He has a family in Leytonstone, east London, and describes himself as a "businessman". He denied making money from piracy himself.

    When the couple were free, he said: "I am excited about standing next to the Chandlers on TV.

    "This will make my sons very happy."

    Mr Kadiye praised Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed for helping the negotiations.

    "The president's office helped me immensely," he said.

    Mr Kadiye is reported to have owned a minicab cab firm in Marble Arch but sold it two years ago when he set up a private security firm.