Canada to pay ex-Guan­tanamo in­mate

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment is go­ing to apol­o­gize and give mil­lions to a for­mer Guan­tanamo Bay pris­oner who pleaded guilty to killing a US sol­dier in Afghanistan when he was 15, with Canada’s Supreme Court later rul­ing that of­fi­cials had in­ter­ro­gated him un­der “op­pres­sive cir­cum­stances.” An of­fi­cial fa­mil­iar with the deal said yes­ter­day that Omar 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 Cana­dian-born Khadr was 15 when he was cap­tured by US troops fol­low­ing a fire­fight at a sus­pected Al-Qaeda com­pound in Afghanistan that re­sulted in the death of an Amer­i­can spe­cial forces medic, US Army Sgt First Class Christo­pher Speer.

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. Omar Khadr spent 10 years in Guan­tanamo Bay. His case re­ceived in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion af­ter some dubbed him a child sol­dier.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Cana­dian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials ob­tained ev­i­dence from Khadr un­der “op­pres­sive cir­cum­stances,” such as sleep de­pri­va­tion, dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tions at Guan­tanamo Bay in 2003, and then shared that ev­i­dence with US of­fi­cials. Khadr was the youngest and last West­ern de­tainee held at the US mil­i­tary prison in Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba. His lawyers filed a $20 mil­lion wrong­ful im­pris­on­ment law­suit against the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment, ar­gu­ing the gov­ern­ment vi­o­lated in­ter­na­tional law by not pro­tect­ing its own cit­i­zen and con­spired with the US in its abuse of Khadr. — AP

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