Victims of Gitmo terrorists file claim in Canada for money that government plans to give him
The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan has turned to a court north of the border in an effort to block the millions of dollars in compensation due to be paid by the Canadian government to Guantánamo Bay’s onetime youngest prisoner.It is hard to justify the empathy for this guy that is flowing in Canada, but it would be some justice if the money they plan on paying him would go to his victims instead.
Ottawa is expected to apologise and provide Omar Khadr – the last western detainee held at the notorious Cuba prison – with C$10.5m in redress, falling in line with a 2010 supreme court ruling that found Canadian officials had violated his rights.
Khadr was 15 years old when he was captured by US troops in Afghanistan following a firefight that resulted in the death of an American special forces medic, US army SFC Christopher Speer, and injured Sgt Layne Morris, who lost an eye.
The Canadian teenager was taken to Guantánamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder, but later said he had only done so because he saw no other means of making it out of Guantánamo.
In 2015, a US judge ordered Khadr to pay Speer’s widow and Morris $134.2m in damages. While the payout seemed a slim possibility, Don Winder, the Utah-based lawyer representing Tabitha Speer and Morris, said they had suspected Khadr would obtain a settlement from the Canadian government.
In anticipation, Winder said on Tuesday that he had filed an application weeks ago to attempt to have a Canadian court enforce the US decision. “We will be proceeding with that application and trying to make sure that if he gets money it goes to the widow of Sgt Speer and Layne Morris for the loss of an eye,” Winder told the Associated Press. The application has not yet been heard in court.