U.S. hands over Omar Khadr mental evaluation documents, lawyers await Toews’ decision


Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has received the documents he requested on Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, the Canadian Press reports. Toews said he needed the videotapes and transcripts of the mental evaluations of Khadr from American military authorities in order to decide on Khadr’s application to transfer into Canadian custody. His office has said he will now review the documents before making a decision.

Khadr’s Canadian lawyers have said there is now no reason for the government to drag out the process any longer, as Canada already committed to taking Khadr into Canadian custody almost two years ago.

In 2010, Khadr plead guilty to war crimes and was sentenced to eight years in prison, one year in Guantanamo Bay, seven in Canada. He had already served 8 years in Guantanamo without trial. He was imprisoned in 2002, when he was 15 years old.

Despite his decade spent in prison, two mental-health reports done for the defence portray Khadr as non-radicalized and a good candidate for reintegration. A report done for the prosecution says that Khadr is unrepentant for his actions. Toews already had access to these mental health reports, and Khadr’s lawyers are frustrated with the minister’s continued indecision.

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U.S. hands over Omar Khadr mental evaluation documents, lawyers await Toews’ decision

  1. I trust that Minister Toews will rely on Canadian psychiatric experts to assess and advise him on all the (conflicting) psych reports, acknowledging that he is not an expert in such matters.
    His role should only be to determine how short a leash will be attached to Mr. Khadr and if upon repatriation to Canada he would recommend that he be referred to our courts for a dangerous offender hearing. As to whether Canada can even refuse entry to a Canadian citizen, either now or in the future, is simply a matter of law.
    I cringe when politicians make decisions based on the noise factor.

  2. Khadr’s lawyers”frustrated with the minister’s continued indecision.” Why state such obvious. They’re the one applying pressure by threatening with lawsuits because they don’t want the evidence which they fought successfully to keep away from the jurors, to be scrutinized. They want to ram it down our throat with political pressure knowing full well that the diplomatic note to favourably consider Khadr’s transfer does in no way legally bind Toews to take him back on their terms. Toews will need the time to not only go through the entire documents, written ones as well as 8-hour video tape.

    • What evidence are you talking about? It was the prosecution who shamefully forged evidence and shamefully buried evidence.

  3. Personally, I think it likely that Khadr was, in fact, innocent, when he pled guilty. Under the Guantanamo system the rational choice for innocent individuals is to plead guilty. Under the Guantanamo system the US government has stated they have the option to continue to hold individuals indefinitely, even if they are acquitted on all charges.

    Why go through the pain of a trial when one can’t count on release if one is acquitted?

    A couple of months ago a commentator in a discussion following another article on Khadr made an excellent point. They thought Khadr was probably guilty, but they argued for his early transfer to Canada. They argued that if there was a real concern that Khadr would pose a real risk, he would pose less of a risk if he went through the normal process of assessments while in Canadian custody, attempts to rehabilitate him, and give him jobs skills, day parole, half-way houses, etc.

    They argued option of leaving him in Guantanamo for another six years, only to then have the USA dump him on the Peace Bridge, knowing Canada did nothing for him, would be more dangerous.

    There may be some backwards types who still think Canada and the USA were right to intern those of Japanese descent during World War 2. I strongly suspect that politiicians who have bent to the anti-muslim prejudice Khadr has been the victim of will regret their spinelessness — as they too are on the wrong side of history.

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