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Omar Khadr appeals ruling that denied his transfer from federal prison to jail


 

EDMONTON – Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr is appealing a ruling that denied his request to be transferred from a maximum-security federal prison in Alberta to a provincial jail.

Justice John Rooke of Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the 27-year-old’s transfer application last month.

Dennis Edney, Khadr’s lawyer, said the appeal is based on the judge’s interpretation of a section of the International Transfer of Offenders Act.

“I am essentially arguing that the judge got it wrong in both fact and law,” Edney said Thursday.

Edney said Khadr should be treated as a young offender and that serving his time in a provincial jail rather than a prison in Edmonton would give him access to programs he needs to get parole.

Toronto-born Khadr was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to war crime offences, including murder, for killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan when Khadr was 15.

“We are saying that the only interpretation that one could make with the eight-year sentence that Omar received, had those offences occurred in Canada, could have only have been a youth sentence.”

Edney said he has requested an expedited hearing, but that requires consent from the federal government, which welcomed Rooke’s ruling when it was made.

“I have written to them asking if they would agree to an expedited appeal and I await their response.”

Khadr was transferred to Canada from Guantanamo Bay last fall.

In his ruling, Rooke concluded that Khadr was sentenced as a youth on the murder charge and as an adult on four other charges. He said Khadr can’t be in an adult provincial facility and a penitentiary at the same time.

He ruled that placing him in a penitentiary is lawful.

The federal government has insisted that Khadr is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be treated as such.

Khadr was eligible for full parole in July, but hasn’t applied.

The last day of his sentence is Oct. 30, 2018.


 
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Omar Khadr appeals ruling that denied his transfer from federal prison to jail

  1. Our penal system is obviously in the toilet.
    At one time we looked to the system to rehabilitate and provide trades training for miscreants, most of who had been badly raised because they and their parents lived in poverty. The system was working.
    Today however those policies of compassion and understand have disappeared. Why? Because the right wing ideologues now in power can only think in one direction. And that is punishment. And if these same people remain in power it wont be long before we bring back the death penalty.
    As for poor Omar Khadr, this whole case that the justice system seems to be pushing is mystifying.
    Firstly, he was under age. Secondly he was tortured.Thirdly he was tried by a military tribunal and not by civil court. And finally there is no empirical evidence connecting him to the murder of a US serviceman.
    Evidence extracted under torture or threat is not evidence. At least not in any civilized country that I know of. But of course we do now have an extreme right wing government in power, with a leader who appears to be completely unpredictable. So who can say.
    Finally there is simply no chain of evidence. Wounded, plucked from under a pile of rubble and accused of murder on a battlefield where bullets and mortar rounds are going off every which way is a bit ludicrous. Its time to push the reset button.

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