Omar Khadr making first public appearance as lawyers challenge detention -

Omar Khadr making first public appearance as lawyers challenge detention


TORONTO – Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr is expected to make his first appearance in public since American soldiers captured him as a badly wounded 15-year-old in Afghanistan 11 years ago.

Khadr will be in an Edmonton courtroom Monday for an application to have his ongoing detention in an adult prison declared illegal.

“I want them to see Omar Khadr,” his lawyer Dennis Edney said in an interview. “I don’t want him hidden away.”

The Toronto-born Khadr, who turned 27 last week, will not speak during the hearing before the Court of Queen’s Bench, expected to last the day.

A spokeswoman for Correctional Service Canada confirmed an order had been made for Khadr to appear in court.

Khadr’s last court appearance was when he pleaded guilty to five war crimes in October 2010 before a U.S. military commission in Guantanamo Bay, where a few select people were allowed to watch the proceedings in person.

In exchange for his guilty plea, he was given an eight-year sentence.

The federal government, which opposes the application, argues Khadr has been appropriately placed in an adult maximum security facility.

The legal arguments underpinning the application and government’s response are technical and based on provisions of the International Transfer of Offenders Act.

Essentially, they boil down to whether his eight-year term should be construed as a single youth sentence for all five offences, as his lawyers argue. That would mean he should be serving his time in a provincial facility rather than a federal penitentiary.

For its part, the government argues Khadr received five separate but concurrent sentences of eight years each.

That would mean his sentence for murder in violation of the laws of war would be considered as a youth sentence in Canada, but the punishment for the other four crimes, including attempted murder and spying, would be considered as adult sentences.

“The International Transfer of Offenders Act makes no provisions for the sentence to be treated partially as a youth sentence and as an adult sentence,” Edney said.

“The military commission process doesn’t recognize concurrent or consecutive sentences; all they do is they give the global sentence.”

The application names Kelly Hartle, the prison’s warden, as respondent. Neither Hartle nor justice officials responded to a request for information.

Transferred to Canada in September 2012, Khadr was first incarcerated largely in isolation at the maximum security Millhaven Institution in eastern Ontario before moving to the maximum security Edmonton Institution in May.

The federal government, which blocked a request by The Canadian Press earlier this year to interview him, insists Khadr is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be treated as such.

Alberta Justice refused to say whether officials were taking any special security precautions for Monday’s appearance.

However, his supporters, including those who know him best, argue Khadr poses no danger to anyone.

Even the federal prison ombudsman appealed to Correctional Service Canada earlier this year to rethink its classification of him as a high security risk.

“He poses no threat to Canada, even though they say he does,” Edney said.

In the interim, Khadr has been upgrading his education at the Edmonton prison.

He was eligible for full parole July 1 but has yet to apply.

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Omar Khadr making first public appearance as lawyers challenge detention

  1. Might I suggest that Omar be either sent to Afghanistan to be tried for the two Afghan solders that died or tried here for High Treason. He is a terrorist and he made IEDs that may have even killed or maimed out own soldiers.

    Letting him out is stupid. Unless of course the deal is that all Khadr family leaves. I wonder how the charges of underage is going for the brother? Were charges dropped?

  2. Let him out, and get him some help. This is a Canadian citizen brutally arrested at 15 on a battlefield.

    Canada cowering in fear….amazing.

    I hope he sues govt sox off.

    • Emily didn’t insert a collective “we” into this particular posted tirade (this one number 8,317) and that’s unusual because Emily doesn’t like to feel that it’s alone in it’s affection for subversive fanatics like Omar Diddleydoop here.

      Emily likes to shame “us” ( the non Emily’s) for picking on this self-confessed, convicted, murdering, trained terrorist by screaming 15 at us.

      Keep it up Emily. We’ll have a ding ding ding store announcement when you hit 9,000 pieces of subversive drivel.

    • Emily Omar wasn’t a soldier bravely fighting for his country. And he was brutally arrested for no reason. His brutality caused the arrest and rightly so.

      • He was a 15 year old boy in the middle of a firefight.

        • Emily there are many opinions U give that I fully agree with. This one isn’t one of those. He wasn’t a 15yo boy in the MIDDLE of a firefight. He was PARTICIPATING in the firefight on the side of Islamic extremists.

          • Thank U for the link, I’ve never read the full story in 1 go in so much detail, but it doesn’t change my opinion. As a Canadian teen he had a choice to stay and live a normal life as a Canadian but he didn’t. Unfortunately a family of many male islamic extremists. It’s a tragically sad story. Sad for Omar, sad for humanity, sad for peace, sad for the men and women on all sides of that part of the Afghan war that died. But it is what it is. He is what he is. He has to serve his time like any other criminal. He’s lucky he is alive and didn’t get the death penalty. He’s lucky he is serving the rest of his time in Canada. He was up for parole in June or July and didn’t fill out any requests for release. Why hasn’t his lawyer done that? I will agree to disagree with you on this subject so we don’t spend valuable time talking about this story.

          • As a kid he had no choice at all. He did what his father told him.

            He’s not a criminal….and shouldn’t have served ANY time.

          • Of course he had to serve time and I think it was his grandfather that brought him that time. He was almost 16, the age of consent, the age he move and support himself. 15 year olds are often tried as adults. 15 isn’t a child, he did not have to go there. He did not plead with the military saying ‘i’m just a kid my dad made me do it, i’m innocent don’t hurt me. No, he said kill me, cuz he new his type of people only give respect to people who martyr themselves. Living is a slap in the face to his people.

          • Kath….he was a kid…he didn’t do anything….and he’s been punished anyway.

            ‘His type of people’??? Oh, you mean human?

          • You know what I mean Emily. It’s like your playing tit for tat here. He’s obviously human if he isn’t an animal or plant. His family are outspoken and active Islamic extremists. Or if you don’t like that expression, then you can say they very often break the law so they can increase their potential of harming fellow human beings.

          • Yeah….you mean he was one of ‘those’

            You m’dear are a racist.

          • I think that you know I’m absolutely correct and you’ve lost your argument so you resort to calling me a racist. 98% of people know that only a racist calls someone a racist.

          • I don’t need to ‘resort’ to anything….your own words gave you away.

          • I’m changing part of my opinion on this after listening to Omar’s lawyer’s press release. Apparently Omar has no chance of parole until he completes certain programs to downgrade from maximum security+apparently no programs have been offered to Omar. His lawyer says as long as he is in max prison he won’t get the programs to eventually be paroled. This is why they are fighting to get Omar moved out of Max, and I completely agree with that. It’s a very interesting press release, if U want to watch it: