Canada’s Liberal government is prepared to provide an apology and $10.5 million to the confessed killer of a U.S. soldier who spent time in Guantanamo Bay.
According to multiple reports Tuesday, Omar Khadr will be compensated in part because his interrogation at the hands of Canadian security was deemed “oppressive” by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Khadar, who was born in Canada, was fighting with al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan when he was 15. In a shoot-out with U.S. forces, Khadr confessed to killing U.S. Special Forces medic Sgt. Christopher Speer with a grenade.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Ireland en route to Friday’s G-20 Summit in Germany, would neither confirm nor deny the reports but strongly suggested their validity.
“There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion,” he told reporters.
Speer’s widow, along with another soldier who was blinded by the grenade attack, filed a wrongful death and injury lawsuit against Khadr in 2014 because they suspected Khadr might receive financial compensation if he was successful in appealing his sentencing.
A U.S. judge awarded the pair $134.2 million in damages in 2015 but the plaintiffs have acknowledged that they don’t expect to receive any of the money because Khadr lives in Canada.
Khadr was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where he was charged with war crimes by a military commission.
In 2010, he pled guilty to multiple charges, including murder, and received an eight year sentence. He was sent back to Canada in 2012, where he was supposed to serve the remainder of his sentence, but was released early in 2015 — to considerable criticism.
Khadr’s lawyers have consistently argued thoughout the ordeal that Khadr’s guilty pleas was obtained under duress. He was the youngest detainee at Gitmo and many of Khadr’s liberals supporters suggested the al-Qaeda fighter was a “child soldier” even though he was not wearing a uniform or serving with a recognized military service.