Published: Sat, July 08, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Omar Khadr cashed check for $10.5 million

Omar Khadr cashed check for $10.5 million

"We are announcing that the government of Canada has reached a settlement with Mr. Omar Khadr, bringing this civil case to a close", said the statement from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Canada on Friday formally apologized to a Canadian man held at the USA military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, for a decade and said it had reached a financial settlement with him, acknowledging officials had played a role in the abuse he suffered.

It should also be pointed out that some do support the payment to Khadr and have applauded the Liberals for offering a settlement as opposed to more litigation.

Most of the documented involvement of Canadian officials was between 2003 and 2004 under the Liberal governments of former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.

Tabitha Speer, the wife of the late USA special forces soldier Chris Speer, and Layne Morris, who was partially blinded in the firefight, won a $134-million United States default judgment against Khadr in a Utah court two years ago.

The Canadian-born Khadr was captured at the age of 15 after a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002, after allegedly killing USA solider Chris Speer by throwing a grenade. "The Supreme Court of Canada has stated clearly and unequivocally that that behaviour on the part of those Canadian officials was wrong".

Two cabinet ministers held a news conference to say the government apologized to Khadr because the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian government had violated his rights under the Canadian constitution and under the Geneva convention.

Last month, Speer's family filed paperwork in Canada in hopes that any money Khadr received would instead be given to Speer's widow, the AP said.

"The family of the USA medic - they sued Omar Khadr in a US court - and they won a $134 million judgment", the Christian leader pointed out.

Charged with war crimes and held at Guantanamo - the US military prison in Cuba - he later pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. He said he rejects violent jihad and expressed interest in going to school to pursue a career in health care.

Tabitha Speer and Morris have already filed an application so that any money paid by the Canadian government to Khadr will go to them.

One of Khadr's Canadian lawyers, John Phillips, said late Thursday that he could not comment on any payout. The legal agreement was only made public after leaks to the media. Word of the quiet money transfer came on the eve of a hearing in which a lawyer planned to ask Ontario Superior Court to block the payout to Khadr, who lives in Edmonton on bail. It ordered Khadr to pay $134 million.

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