Omar Khadr, responsible for killing the soldier in Afghanistan, is due to receive millions of dollars as an “apology” from the Canadian government
Canadian-born Omar Khadr was captured by U.S. troops when he was only 15, following a battle at a suspected Al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.
Khadr was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer and injured Sergeant Layne Morris, and was taken to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. detention facility where he was charged with war crimes.
Khadr pled guilty to charges including murder and was sentenced to an additional eight years in detention, returning to Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Khadr was released in 2015 after appealing to retract his plea of guilty, which he claimed was “made under great duress”. His lawyers proceeded to file a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the Canadian government worth $20 million.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Khadr confessed to his crimes under “oppressive circumstances”, and was subjected to abuse such as sleep deprivation.
Winder, the attorney for Sergeant Speer’s widow, stated after filing an application to Canadian courts to protest Khadr receiving any settlement: “We will be proceeding with the application and trying to make sure that if he gets money it goes to the widow of Sgt. Speer and Layne Morris for the loss of an eye.”
Khadr apologized to the families of the victims, and his lawyers claim he was forced into the war by his radicalist father who had stayed with Osama bin Laden when Khadr was a young boy.
The decision from the Canadian government to give a settlement to Khadr was heavily criticized by conservatives, who urged Prime Minister Trudeau to give any money to Sgt. Speer’s widow and Sgt. Morris.
Scott Barsdley, A spokesman for Canada’s public safety minister confirmed there is an ongoing court process but that nothing has been firmly decided.
”Settlement processes are always strictly confidential by nature. Accordingly, the Government is not in a position to provide any comment one way or the other.” Bardsley stated in an email.