"Canada to pay $10.5m to youngest Guantanamo inmate, convicted of killing US soldier."
"The Canadian government is going to apologise and give millions to a
former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing a US soldier
in Afghanistan when he was 15, with Canada’s supreme court later ruling
that officials had interrogated him under “oppressive circumstances”.
An official familiar with the deal said on Tuesday that Omar Khadr will receive
10.5 million Canadian dollars (US$8 million). The official was not authorized
to discuss the deal publicly before the announcement and spoke on condition of
anonymity. The government and Khadr’s lawyers negotiated the deal last month.
The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops following
a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in
the death of an American special forces medic, US army Sgt Christopher Speer.
Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken
to Guantanamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.
He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentenced
to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He returned to
Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released in
May 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea, which he said was made under duress."
"His lawyers filed a $20 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the
Canadian government, arguing the government violated international law
by not protecting its own citizen and conspired with the US in its abuse of Khadr."
"Guantánamo film shows plight of Canadian national detained at 15"
"As far as the Pentagon is concerned, Khadr's case is closed. But a film
about his interrogation, released in the UK this week, raises a series of
deeply troubling questions. Firstly, it asks, why did the US try a child,
captured in Afghanistan aged 15, when UN treaties decree underage
combatants be treated as victims? How reliable was a confession Khadr says
was extracted under torture and, it emerged later, tacit threats of gang rape?
The film, Four Days Inside Guantánamo, is released in the UK on Friday.
It even casts doubt on the Pentagon's claims that Khadr was responsible
for killing a US solder, the incident for which he was tried."
"According to US military prosecutors, a grenade thrown by Khadr fatally
injured an American sergeant, Christopher Speer. But photographs which
emerged in 2009 appear to show the boy lying unconscious in the compound
at the time he supposedly committed the act. He was partly blinded and
suffered severe back and shoulder injuries in the battle. He was taken first
to the Bagram airbase, where interrogation commenced, and then Guantánamo.
The four days of questioning by Canadian intelligence officials feature
heavily in the film and show a traumatised Khadr initially admitting to having
met Osama bin Laden before saying he made this up as he feared more torture.
Several times he breaks down in sobs, at one point seemingly calling for his mother."
"This is despite the repeated insistence of Unicef that the only people
guilty of war crimes were the adults who coerced a boy into fighting."