Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 19, 2016
Canada dropped a bid to return a former Guantanamo Bay inmate to jail, saying he should remain free while appealing a murder conviction in a U.S. military court.
Omar Khadr, 29, once the youngest inmate in the special U.S. prison in Cuba, was returned to Canada, where he was born, in 2012 to serve the rest of his sentence for killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.
A Canadian court ruled that he could be released on bail and he left jail in May. But the conservative government at the time appealed the court’s decision, saying his release would hurt relations with the United States.
The new liberal government dropped that appeal on February 18.
Khadr had pleaded guilty to murdering a U.S. Army medic in a firefight in 2002. He later recanted, saying he pled guilty to get out of Guantanamo.
Khadr was taken to Afghanistan by his father, a senior Al-Qaeda member who apprenticed the boy to bomb makers who fired on U.S. troops. Khadr was captured in the firefight, during which he was blinded in one eye and shot twice in the back.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP