Gitmo's Former 'Child Soldier' Gets 8 Years

Plea bargain bars teen al-Qaeda fighter from 40-year sentence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 1, 2010 6:45 AM CDT
Gitmo's Former 'Child Soldier' Gets 8 Years
In this sketch reviewed by the US Department of Defense, Canadian detainee Omar Khadr listens at his sentence trial at Camp Justice on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, Saturday Oct. 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin)

(Newser) – The long-running case of a onetime teenage al-Qaeda fighter is over, with a US military judge sentencing Omar Khadr to eight more years in custody for war crimes. The sentence was handed down yesterday under a plea bargain in which the young Canadian, now 24, admitted to five war crimes charges, including killing a US soldier in Afghanistan.

Under the deal, the judge was limited to the eight-year sentence and had to ignore the recommendation of a military jury that Khadr serve 40 years. Appearing relaxed, Khadr stared straight ahead as the judge read a sentence that calls for him to stay at the Guantanamo prison another year before he can ask Canada's government to allow him to return to his homeland to serve out his sentence or seek early release on parole. He doesn't get credit for the eight years he already spent at Guantanamo. Click here for more on his case.
(Read more Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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