A Canadian judge released a former Guantanamo Bay detainee Thursday. According to the BBC, the judge released Omar Khadr, despite the Canadian government’s insistence through appeal that he must remain in prison. A U.S. military commission convicted Khadr five years ago for killing an American soldier in Afghanistan.
“We are disappointed with today’s decision, and regret that a convicted terrorist has been allowed back into Canadian society without having served his full sentence,” said Jeremy Laurin, a spokesman for Canada’s public safety minister.
The BBC noted that Canadian-born Khadr is still in the midst of his appeal against his U.S. conviction, so a lower court gave him bail last month to finish it.
Khadr will be living with his lawyer and his lawyer’s wife while wearing a GPS bracelet. Additionally, he will have a nightly curfew and supervised Internet access.
The news of Khadr’s release comes on the heels of White House press secretary Josh Earnest hinting to reporters Wednesday that President Barack Obama may very well use an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay facility that currently houses terrorists that were captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain responded to the White House’s potential move telling reporters on the Hill Thursday that Obama will have more difficulty doing such a thing because of the administration’s Bergdahl prisoner swap with the Taliban last year.
“One of the reasons why there’s so much opposition now to it is because they acted in clear violation of the law. They haven’t denied that they acted in violation of the law when they released the five people in return for Bergdahl,” McCain said.
“That understandably disturbs members of Congress who respect the Constitution of the United States. So there are lots of things we can do in return since we have the majority of both houses. So it’s a dangerous game that they’re playing.”