Canada News

Canadian government to pay former Guantanamo prisoner

The government of Canada is set to formally apologize and pay former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr millions after losing a civil suit filed against Ottawa.

Khadr pleaded guilty to killing a United States army medic while under interrogation that was concluded to be “oppressive.”

The settlement will be just over $10 million CAD, according to local media.

The Toronto Star said the former prisoner was initially seeking $20 million. The Associated Press wrote that Ottawa and Khadr’s lawyers settled the deal in June.

Prime Minister Justin Trudea was in Ireland on Tuesday where, when asked about the payment, would not elaborate.

“There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion,” said Trudeau on Tuesday. 

Khadr was the youngest and last remaining western prisoner remaining in the infamous detention center run by the United States, and located in Cuba.

After being released from prison 2015, Khadr apologized to the medic’s family, as well as the relatves of another US soldier that was blinded by the grenade.

Omar Khadr said he rejects violent jihad, and is seeking a new start to finish his education and work in healthcare. He currently lives in Edmonton.

The charges

Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including murder, in 2010. 

This was several years after being at Guantanamo Bay since 2003, after being captured during a raid on an Al Qaeda base in Afghanistan by US forces. 

During the firefight, Khadr is suspected of, and previously pleaded guilty to, throwing the grenade that killed Sgt Christopher Speer. The Toronto-born 15-year-old was then brought to Guantanamo and chaged with war crimes by a military commission. 

Khadr’s lawyers say he was pushed into being a child soldier by his father Ahmed Said Khadr. The senoir Egyptian-born Khadr was killed in 2003 when Pakistan bombed the house where he was staying with top al-Qaeda members. 

The family once stayed with Osama bin Laden.

With files from UBC News.


By Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He has reported for several online and print publications.
Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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