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Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr won't be moved from federal prison

EDMONTON – An Edmonton judge has denied former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr a transfer from a federal prison to a provincial jail.

Justice John Rooke dismissed an application from Khadr’s lawyer that his 27-year-old client be moved out of the Edmonton Institution.

Dennis Edney had argued that his client should be treated as a young offender and be moved out of maximum security.

“Mr. Khadr’s placement in a federal penitentiary is lawful and the … application is denied,” Rooke wrote in his decision released Friday.

The Toronto-born Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to five war crime offences, including murder, for killing an American soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15.

A U.S. military commission sentenced him to eight years, but did not specify if it was a youth or adult sentence.

Khadr was transferred to Canada from Guantanamo Bay last fall.

Edney had argued that an eight-year sentence for the murder and four other crimes only made sense as a youth sentence.

But the federal government argued that Khadr was given eight years as a youth for murder and the sentences on the four remaining offences were to be served concurrently as an adult.

Rooke agreed that Khadr was sentenced as a youth on the murder charge and as an adult on the four other charges. The issue then became where best to serve the sentence.

“Mr. Khadr obviously cannot be in an adult provincial facility for adults and a penitentiary at the same time,” Rooke wrote.

“Therefore, the question is where is the offender sentenced to youth and adult sentences to serve that sentence?”

Given that part of Khadr’s sentence is being served as an adult, Rooke found placement in a penitentiary is lawful.

Edney said his client plans to appeal.

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