Ottawa drops appeal of Omar Khadr's bail

TORONTO -- The federal government has decided against pursuing an appeal of an Alberta court's decision to grant former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr bail.

See Full Article

The decision came in a joint statement Thursday from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

"The government of Canada respects the decision of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, which determined that Mr. Khadr be released on bail in Canada pending his U.S. appeal of his U.S. convictions and sentence," the statement said.

"Withdrawing this appeal is an important step towards fulfilling the government's commitment to review its litigation strategy."

The decision caught one of Khadr's lawyers by pleasant surprise.

"We're pleased with the government's decision. We think it's the right decision. We never did think there was much merit to this appeal," Nate Whitling said in Toronto.

"Now Omar can get on with his reintegration."

The Liberal government decision is a sharp break from its Conservative predecessor, which fought hard to keep Khadr behind bars for the duration of his sentence.

Khadr, 29, was freed on bail last May after almost 13 years behind bars -- four of them as a convicted war criminal. He has since been living with his lawyer, Dennis Edney, in Edmonton without incident.

The Americans captured a grievously wounded Khadr in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was 15 years old. He was soon sent to Guantanamo Bay, where he was charged with several war crimes before a widely discredited Military Commission.

Khadr ultimately pleaded guilty in October 2010 to five war crimes -- including murder in the death of a U.S. special forces soldier. In exchange, the commission handed him a further eight-year sentence.

He returned to Canada in 2012 under an international transfer treaty, and later said he had only pleaded guilty to get out of the notorious prison.

In April last year, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Justice June Ross granted his bid for bail while he appeals his war crimes conviction -- an appeal that could still take years.

Khadr's lawyers argued the offences to which he pleaded guilty were not crimes at the time and the military commission had no jurisdiction to try him.

His $20-million civil lawsuit that claims the government conspired with the Americans to torture him and breach his rights is still ongoing.

Khadr's late father was a friend of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and his mother has previously angered Canadians by expressing support for al Qaeda.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • JFK's life, legacy to be celebrated on his centennial

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON -- The life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy, who died at 46, will be celebrated on the day he would have turned 100. The United States Postal Service plans to commemorate Kennedy's centennial Monday with a dedication of a new JFK postage stamp in Brookline, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb where the late president was born on May 29, 1917. Source
  • Candid new family photo shows Royal Family relaxing in garden

    World News CTV News
    Kensington Palace has shared an intimate new photograph of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte relaxing in a garden in April. The black and white image, taken by Norman Jean Roy for a spread in GQ Magazine, shows Prince William and the Duchess lying in the Kensington Palace garden smiling as they look at Prince George, 3, facing them with his back towards the camera. Source
  • North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will. Source
  • Prince William talks of sadness that family can't meet Diana

    World News CTV News
    Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a ride on the Maid of Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., in this Oct., 1991, photo, with her sons Prince Harry, then 7, and Prince William, then 9. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hans Deryk Source
  • Milos Raonic starts French Open with easy win

    Canada News CBC News
    Fifth-seeded Milos Raonic is safely through to the second round of the French Open after sweeping past Steve Darcis of Belgium in straight sets on Monday. The Canadian took just 92 minutes to beat the 38th-ranked Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 — taking the final game to love. Source
  • Homeland Security chief defends Russia back channel

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russia, describing it as a "good thing" as the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin. Source
  • Kelly defends plan for Russia back channel as a 'good thing'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russia as a "good thing," while the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin. Source
  • Sri Lankan soldiers recover more bodies from mudslides

    World News CTV News
    PELMADULLA, Sri Lanka -- A group of Sri Lankan soldiers carried a body wrapped in a tarpaulin to police for identification, while others dug Monday through piles of mud, unearthing a motorbike, pieces of furniture and clothes, the only signs of eight homes that stood on Kiribathgala Hill just a few days ago. Source
  • Hiker falls to her death from cliff trail in Rattlesnake Point, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    MILTON, Ont. -- Halton Region police are investigating the death of woman who fell from a cliff along a walking trail in Milton. Police said the 23-year-old woman was with friends Sunday evening when she fell approximately 21 metres from the trail at the Rattlesnake Point conservation area. Source
  • CN Rail, union talks continue after job action threat

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The union representing approximately 3,000 CN Rail employees is still in negotiations with the company’s management after threatening job action. The Teamsters union says the company plans to make changes to the current collective agreement that would “permanently and irreparably impact workers,” although a union official wouldn’t specify the subject of the negotiations. Source