The lawyer of former terrorist Omar Khadr wants a $134 million claim against his client dismissed, according to the Toronto Star. The money was awarded to Tabitha Speers and retired U.S. Army Sgt. Layne Morris by a Utah court due to the death of Speer’s husband, Sgt. Christopher Speer, and the blinding of Morris at the hands of Khadr while he was a fighting as a Taliban insurgent in Afghanstan.
They’ve not seen a penny of it, however, due to an ongoing dispute over cross-border legal jurisdictions.
Lawyer Nathan Whitling suggested Tuesday, in a statement of defense to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, that the money would never have been awarded “but for the unlawful detention, abuse, torture, and other mistreatment of [Khadr] in Bagram and [Guantanamo Bay].”
Whitling further contended, “The supposed U.S. common law of war relied upon by the U.S. prosecutors did not exist at the time of the alleged conduct…”
In July the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau awarded Khadr $10.5 million (Canadian) for his alleged mistreatment at the hands of U.S. and Canadian interrogators at Gitmo. The government also issued a formal apology that said Khadr’s rights had been violated under the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. On Wednesday, IPolitics reported that Canada’s Privy Council Office has initiated an investigation into who leaked that information to the national media.
Both Tabitha Speer and Morris are insisting that the Canadian courts enforce the 2015 Utah court decision in favor of the wrongful suit.
Whitling is also suggesting that Khadr may not have been responsible for Speer’s death because there was another “combatant alive in the compound and firing his weapon at the U.S. combatants entering the compound, which individual was . . . in the same area from which the grenade had been thrown.”
Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed Speer and blinded Morris, and videos show Khadr manufacturing improvised exploding devices that claimed many American and Canadian lives in Afghanisan. Since his repatriation to Canada, Khadr has claimed that he only agreed to plead guilty so he could leave Guantanamo Bay.
Khadr also filed an affidavit this week asking for greater leniency in the enforcement of his bail conditions. He wants to travel anywhere in Canada, have unlimited access to the internet, and unimpeded visitation rights to his sister Zaynab — who has consistently spoken favorably of al-Qaida, suicide bombers, and the 9/11 terrorist attack.