International

Canada to award millions to former Guantanamo detainee

MONTREAL: Canada is set to apologise and award millions of dollars of compensation to a former Guantanamo detainee who was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15 and detained for 13 years, according to reports.

Omar Khadr will receive at least Can$10 million ($8 million US) from the federal government for the treatment he was subjected to during his captivity, according to reports in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star which cited anonymous sources.

Khadr, a Canadian citizen who spent 10 years at Guantanamo prison before being transferred to Canada and conditionally released in 2015, was the youngest prisoner at the detention camp on US soil in Cuba following his capture in Afghanistan in 2002.

In 2010, he was sentenced to eight years plus time already served following a US military hearing in which he agreed to plead guilty to murdering a US soldier in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.

As part of the agreement, he was sent home to Canada in 2012 to serve the remainder of his sentence.

He was transferred to a high-security prison in his home country, where lawyers fought for several years to have his status as a minor at the time of the attack recognised. Canada’s Supreme Court finally agreed one week before his conditional release in 2015.

His legal team was pursuing Can$20 million against the Canadian government because his rights as a prisoner were violated.

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated it does not have the power to confirm details to the press.

A spokesman for Public Safety Canada added that the government was not in a position to provide additional information owing to the strictly confidential nature of the case.

“There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion,” Trudeau told reporters in Ireland.

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