The Trudeau government in Canada is set to offer an apology and $10 million compensation package to Omar Khadr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who pleaded guilty to killing an American medic.
An official with knowledge of the agreement told the Associated Press that the $10.5 million dollar deal was negotiated last month, in effect settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit, the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit argued that the Canadian government failed to protect its citizen and conspired with the U.S. to abuse Khadr in interrogations. The Canadian government will reportedly make the announcement of the apology and compensation deal this week.
Khadr, who spent a total of 10 years in Guantanamo Bay, pleaded guilty in 2010 to murdering U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Speer in a 2002 firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan as part of a plea deal that permitted him to serve the rest of his sentence in Canada starting in 2012.
When U.S. forces captured Khadr after the firefight and shipped him over to Guantanamo Bay, he was just 15-years-old. As a result of the fight, Khadr was wounded by shrapnel in his eye, shoulder and chest.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Canadian officials through assisting the United States’ interrogation of Khadr had violated “the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.” These officials, the court ruled, violated Khadr’s rights as listed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Khadr was released in May 2015 on bail from Canadian custody and stated he wants nothing to do with jihad and simply wants a new beginning to his life.
Notably, Khadr told The Toronto Star in 2015 that the reason he pleaded guilty to murdering Speer in the first place was that he saw no other way to leave prison, noting he had no idea if the grenade he threw was responsible for killing Speer or not. However, Khadr admitted in the 2010 plea deal that he “converted landmines to Improvised Explosive Devices and assisted in the planting of 10 IEDs with the intent of killing American forces” before the firefight ever even took place.
Khadr will split the compensation settlement with his lawyers.
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