Ex-Guantanamo Bay Inmate Accused Of Killing U.S. Soldier Gets Apology, Millions From Canada

(CBS Local) — A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing an American solider in Afghanistan received a multi-million-dollar payment and an apology from the Canadian government after a court ruling said his rights were abused.

The Canadian government in a statement Friday said the settlement details are confidential, but an official familiar with the deal told the Associated Press that ex-prisoner Omar Khadr was paid 10.5 million Canadian dollars, which is roughly equivalent to $8 million.

Another official confirmed to the AP that Khadr received the payment. His lawyers and Canadian officials negotiated the settlement last month based on a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that Canadian officials violated Khadr’s rights at Guantanamo.

“We are announcing that the government of Canada has reached a settlement with Mr. Omar Khadr, bringing this civil case to a close,” said the statement from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. “On behalf of the government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr for any role Canadian officials may have played in relation to his ordeal abroad and any resulting harm.”

News of Khadr’s settlement sparked anger earlier this week, as many Canadians consider him to be a terrorist.

Khadr, who was born in Canada, was 15 when U.S. troops captured him after a firefight at a suspected al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan. The firefight resulted in the death of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, an American special forces medic.

Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was charged with war crimes by a military commission and detained in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2010 he pleaded guilty to charges including murder, and was sentenced to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He spent 10 years at Guantanamo, and his case received international attention after some claimed he was a child soldier.

Khadr was the youngest and final Western prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, according to the AP.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruling said Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from the prisoner under “oppressive circumstances,” which include sleep deprivation, during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2003. The evidence was then shared with U.S. intelligence officials.

Khadr’s legal team filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit for 20 million Canadian dollars against the Canadian government. The lawyers argued that Canada violated international law by not protecting its own citizen, and accused Canada of conspiring with the U.S. to abuse him.

He apologized to the families of the victims after he was released from prison in Alberta. He said he rejects violent jihad and expressed interest in going to school to pursue a career in health care.

Now 30 years old, Khadr currently lives in an apartment in Edmonton, Alberta.

[H/T: Associated Press]

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