Mon, Oct 21, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Former Guantanamo inmate Khadr to serve as adult

AP, EDMONTON, Canada

A Canadian judge ruled on Friday that former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr will not be transferred from a maximum-security federal prison to a provincial jail.

Justice John Rooke dismissed an application from Khadr’s lawyer that his 27-year-old client be moved out of the Edmonton Institution in Alberta.

Lawyer Dennis Edney had argued that his client should be treated as a young offender and be moved out of maximum security.

The Toronto-born Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to five war crime offenses, including murder, for killing an US soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15.

A US military commission convicted him of throwing a grenade that killed US Army Sergeant 1st Class Christopher Speer during a 2002 firefight.

He was sentenced to eight years, but the military commission did not specify if it was a youth or adult sentence.

Khadr spent a decade at Guantanamo, the US naval base in Cuba.

In September last year, he was transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was first incarcerated largely in isolation at the maximum security Millhaven Institution in eastern Ontario before moving to Edmonton in May.

Edney had argued that an eight-year sentence for the murder and four other crimes only made sense as a youth sentence.

The federal government argued that Khadr was given eight years as a youth for murder and the sentences on the four remaining offenses were to be served concurrently as an adult.

Rooke agreed Khadr was sentenced as a youth on the murder charge and as an adult on the four other charges. The issue then became where best to serve the sentence.

“Mr Khadr obviously cannot be in an adult provincial facility for adults and a penitentiary at the same time,” Rooke wrote. “Therefore, the question is where is the offender sentenced to youth and adult sentences to serve that sentence?”

Given that part of Khadr’s sentence is being served as an adult, Rooke found that his placement in a penitentiary is lawful.

Edney said his client plans to appeal.

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