Widow goes af­ter money Canada will give Khadr

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

The lawyer for the widow of an Amer­i­can sol­dier killed in Afghanistan said Tues­day they have filed an ap­pli­ca­tion so that any money paid by the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment to a former Guan­tanamo Bay pris­oner con­victed of killing him will go to­ward the widow and an­other U.S. sol­dier in­jured.

Lawyer Don Win­der made the com­ments as a de­ci­sion by the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment to apol­o­gize and give mil­lions of dol­lars to Omar Khadr came un­der mount­ing crit­i­cism.

An of­fi­cial fa­mil­iar with the deal said Tues­day that Khadr will re­ceive 10.5 mil­lion Cana­dian dol­lars (US$8 mil­lion). The of­fi­cial was not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the deal pub­licly be­fore the an­nounce­ment and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity. The gov­ern­ment and Khadr’s lawyers ne­go­ti­ated the deal last month.

The Cana­di­an­born Khadr was 15 when he was cap­tured by U.S. troops fol­low­ing a fire­fight at a sus­pected al-Qaida com­pound in Afghanistan that re­sulted in the death of an Amer­i­can special forces medic, U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christo­pher Speer and in­jury of Sgt. Layne Mor­ris, who lost an eye. Khadr, who was sus­pected of throw­ing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken to Guan­tanamo and ul­ti­mately charged with war crimes by a mil­i­tary com­mis­sion.

He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that in­cluded mur­der and was sen­tenced to eight years plus the time he had al­ready spent in cus­tody. He re­turned to Canada two years later to serve the re­main­der of his sen­tence and was re­leased in May 2015 pend­ing an ap­peal of his guilty plea, which he said was made un­der duress.

The widow of Speer and Mor­ris filed a wrong­ful death and in­jury law­suit against Khadr in 2014 fear­ing Khadr might get his hands on money from his $20 mil­lion wrong­ful im­pris­on­ment law­suit. A U.S. judge granted $134.2 mil­lion in dam­ages in 2015.

Win­der, a Salt Lake City­based at­tor­ney for Speer and Mor­ris, said they filed an ap­pli­ca­tion a few weeks ago in Canada to do­mes­tic that judge­ment in Canada. It has yet to be heard.

“We will be pro­ceed­ing with that ap­pli­ca­tion and try­ing to make sure that if he gets money it goes to the widow of Sgt. Speer and Layne Mor­ris for the loss of an eye,” Win­der told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Win­der said they thought it was likely there might be some pay­ment “for his wrong­ful in­ter­ment in Guan­tanamo.”

CP PHOTO

Omar Khadr walks out the front door of his lawyer Den­nis Ed­ney’s home to speak the me­dia in Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta in a May 2015 file photo.

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