Canada to Pay Millions to Former Gitmo Detainee

Country will offer apology to Omar Khadr
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2017 2:43 AM CDT
Canada to Pay Millions to Former Gitmo Detainee
Omar Khadr speaks to the media outside his lawyer Dennis Edney's home in Edmonton, Alberta.   (Nathan Denette)

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 tells the AP that Omar Khadr will receive the equivalent of $8 million US under a deal the government and Khadr's lawyers negotiated last month. The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops in 2002 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 spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay and was the youngest and last Western detainee before he was sent to Canada in 2012 to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was released in 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea. 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. His lawyers filed a $20 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, arguing the Canadian government violated international law by not protecting its own citizen. (Khadr is now engaged to an activist who campaigned for his release.)

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