Omar Khadr payment, apology is 'odious,' Conservatives say
Omar Khadr payment, apology is 'odious,' Conservatives say
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Farmleigh House in Dublin on Tuesday
05 July, 2017, 00:33
Omar Khadr, who pleaded guilty to killing a United States soldier in Afghanistan when he was aged just 15, is set to receive a settlement of more than CA$10.5m (£6.3m, €7.2m) in a deal negotiated between the government and Khadr's lawyers last month, according to The Associated Press. "Khadr confessed to murdering Christopher Speer, a medic who rushed to his aid".
"We are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion", the prime minister said in Dublin, Ireland.
Khadr is suing the federal government for $20 million over abuses he suffered during his detention.
The government apology ends what has been a legal saga for Khadr in Canada for almost 15 years.
"For 15 years, Omar Khadr's case has been a stark reminder of the many ways that an overreaching and unchecked approach to national security readily runs roughshod over universally protected human rights", Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty in Canada, said in a statement.
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed an ongoing court process, but wouldn't say anything further.
"Good news re: Omar Khadr, who was a child caught up in war and abandoned by Canadian government at Gitmo torture-detention centre", one tweet read. His case received worldwide attention after some dubbed him a child soldier.
However, the settlement money should not be seen as a windfall, a source said.
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US troops captured Khadr when he was 15 after they suspected that he threw a grenade at Speer during a firefight at a compound suspected to be under al-Qaeda's control.
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. The United Nations and worldwide human rights groups harshly condemned both the USA and Canada over the years for not recognizing Khadr's age during his detention and prosecution before Guatnanamo's controversial war crimes court.
He was the youngest and last Western detainee held at the military prison. The appeal remains stalled.
In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian officials had interrogated Khadr under "oppressive circumstances"-after three weeks of sleep deprivation while in USA custody-then shared evidence with US officials, which "offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects".
After his 2015 release from prison in Alberta, Omar apologised to the families of the victims. He had said he rejects violence and wants a fresh start to finish his education and work in health care.
Thousands of American service members were killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Khadr remains the only captive the US has prosecuted for murder under the Military Commissions Act, which the USA drafted following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Canadian experts called it unlikely the judgment could be enforced.
Khadr's lawyers have long said he was pushed into war by his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, whose family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.
Khadr was only 15 years old when he was shot and detained by U.S. Special Forces following a firefight in Afghanistan.
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