After several days of heated discussion across the country, it (apparently) doesn’t really matter what Canadians think of the idea of Ottawa paying Omar Khadr a $10.5 million dollar settlement. Not only is it a done-deal … the money has already been paid out. A source has told The Canadian Press (on the condition of strict anonymity), the government wanted to pay out the money before there was a big push to enforce a U.S. court award against Khadr that he pay $134.1-million to the widow of an American special forces soldier who Khadr confessed to killing in 2002 and another U.S. soldier who was blinded in one eye in the same battle. A Toronto lawyer, acting on behalf of the U.S. families holding a default judgement against Khadr, was supposed to be in the Ontario Superior Court this afternoon to request the courts block the payout. Now that it has been made, it’s unclear if the court hearing will go ahead. A source familiar with the settlement deal reached between Khadr and the Canadian government says the terms of the deal are strictly confidential and that neither Khadr nor anyone involved in negotiating the agreement could discuss it, including whether any compensation was involved.
Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen who was detained at Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. military and held there for 10 years, during which he pleaded guilty to murder and war crimes. When Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of an American special forces medic, U.S. army Sgt Christopher Speer. Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed Speer and blinded U.S. soldier, Layne Morris in one eye.
Photo Credit: Michelle Shephard – Toronto Star via Bloomberg