Judge Rules Omar Khadr’s War Crimes Sentence Has Expired

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
March 25, 2019 Updated: March 25, 2019

EDMONTON—An Alberta judge has ruled that a war crimes sentence for former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr has expired.

Khadr was accused of tossing a grenade that killed U.S. special forces soldier Christopher Speer in Afghanistan in 2001.

An eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody.

Tabitha Speer
Tabitha Speer, widow of Sgt. 1st Class Chris Speer, who was killed by a hand grenade that Omar Khadr admitted throwing but later appealed his conviction, speaks to reporters on Oct. 31, 2010. (The Canadian Press/Colin Perkel)

But the clock stopped ticking when a judge freed him on bail in 2015 pending Khadr’s appeal of his military conviction in the United States.

Chief Justice Mary Moreau says the Youth Criminal Justice Act gives judges flexibility to consider bail conditions as part of a sentence.

She told an Edmonton court Monday that, with that in mind, she ruled Khadr has served his time.

The Supreme Court of Canada had already said the punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old was to be a youth sentence.

Khadr’s lawyer Nathan Whitling had argued earlier this year that Khadr had served more than seven years in custody and on bail.

The Crown had argued Khadr should serve the remainder of his sentence in the community.

Khadr’s case has ignited divisive debate among Canadians over terrorism, human rights, and the rule of law since it was revealed in 2017 that the federal government settled a lawsuit filed by him for a reported $10.5 million.

The payout followed a 2010 ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court that Khadr’s charter rights were violated at Guantanamo and that Canadian officials contributed to that violation.

The Epoch Times contributed to this report. 

The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press