Amer­i­cans seek to en­force $134M award against Omar Khadr

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - COLIN PERKEL TORONTO —

Lawyers act­ing for the widow of an Amer­i­can spe­cial forces sol­dier have filed an ap­pli­ca­tion in Canada seek­ing to en­force a mas­sive U.S. dam­ages award against for­mer Guan­tanamo Bay pris­oner, Omar Khadr.

The ap­pli­ca­tion comes amid word the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is set to pay the Toronto-born Khadr $10.5 mil­lion and apol­o­gize to him to set­tle his long-run­ning law­suit for breach­ing his rights.

The fil­ing in On­tario Su­pe­rior Court, ob­tained by The Cana­dian Press, also says the ap­pli­cants might ask for an or­der block­ing Ot­tawa from pay­ing Khadr any com­pen­sa­tion. Al­ter­na­tively, it wants any gov­ern­ment money flow­ing to Khadr to go in­stead to rel­a­tives of Sgt. Chris Speer and re­tired U.S. sergeant Layne Mor­ris.

Filed on June 8, the ap­pli­ca­tion seeks a dec­la­ra­tion rec­og­niz­ing a $134.1-mil­lion US de­fault judg­ment against Khadr from Utah in June 2015 and an or­der that he pay the money. It also asks for an­other $900,000 in le­gal and other .

The un­proven ap­pli­ca­tion has not been ad­vanced since its fil­ing, ac­cord­ing to Toronto-based lawyer David Winer, and no hear­ing date has been set.

Winer, who re­fused fur­ther com­ment, said he had not heard any­thing from Khadr’s Ed­mon­ton­based lawyer, Den­nis Ed­ney, who also re­fused to dis­cuss the case.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was filed on be­half of rel­a­tives of Speer, who was killed in Afghanistan in July 2002 dur­ing a fierce fire­fight in which Khadr, then 15 years old, was cap­tured badly wounded. Mor­ris, who was blinded in one eye dur­ing the same bat­tle, is a co-ap­pli­cant.

Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties ac­cused Khadr of throw­ing the grenade that killed Speer — an al­le­ga­tion that be­came one of the five war crimes to which he pleaded guilty be­fore a much ma­ligned mil­i­tary com­mis­sion in Guan­tanamo Bay in 2010.

Khadr, now on bail pend­ing an ap­peal of his U.S. con­vic­tion, has said he ad­mit­ted to killing Speer and to the other pur­ported war crimes only as a way out of the in­fa­mous prison in Cuba given that he could have been held in­def­i­nitely even if ac­quit­ted.

“Re­gard­less of Khadr’s confession at Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba, the ev­i­dence ten­dered at the mil­i­tary com­mis­sion from other wit­nesses es­tab­lished that Khadr was the only live per­son found at the com­pound ca­pa­ble of launch­ing the grenade which killed SFC Speer and in­jured SFC Mor­ris,” the doc­u­ment states.

NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Omar Khadr could re­ceive $10.5 mil­lion from the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.