Ministers expected to announce Khadr's $10.5M payout

Omar Khadr smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after being released on bail in Edmonton Alberta

Two senior Liberal cabinet ministers will explain the government's settlement with former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr on Friday.

Canada on Friday formally apologized to a Canadian man held at the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, for a decade and said it had reached a financial settlement with him, acknowledging officials had played a role in the abuse he suffered.

News of Khadr's settlement sparked anger earlier this week, as many Canadians consider him to be a terrorist.

The Liberal government refused to officially disclose the the amount of the legal settlement despite the figure being widely leaked to numerous media outlets.

On Friday morning, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale also confirmed that Khadr has received a controversial $10.5-million payout to settle a long-standing lawsuit over violations of his charter rights.

In 2002, Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops in Afghanistan after a battle near a suspected al-Qaida compound led to the death of USA special forces medic Army Sgt.


He said he hoped the "talk about settlement or the apology does not cause people pain and if it does, you know, I'm really sorry for the pain". He said he rejects violent jihad and expressed interest in going to school to pursue a career in health care.

Khadr was incarcerated for ten years beginning when he was 15 years old in connection with a firefight between USA forces and Al-Qaeda. "Seeking money from the Canadian taxpayer is just a sign of continuing contempt for the country that Khadr has fought against", said Scheer. If that were to occur, the legal case would most certainly continue.

In 2010, the Canadian Supreme Court said Canada breached his rights by sending intelligence agents to the jail to interrogate him and sharing the results with the United States.

Legal experts have said the application, aimed at getting any money Khadr might be awarded to satisfy the Utah judgment, would be extremely unlikely to succeed, in part because Khadr's conviction in Guantanamo Bay runs counter to Canadian public policy.

Re: "Cash for Khadr is not justice", editorial, July 5. A US judge granted them $134.2 million in damages in 2015, but it's unclear if that judgement, based on proceedings at Guantanamo, would be recognized by Canadian courts. Word of the quiet money transfer came on the eve of a hearing in which a lawyer planned to ask Ontario Superior Court to block the payout to Khadr, who lives in Edmonton on bail. Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris can still try to persuade the courts to recognize the $134-million (U.S.) judgment, although legal experts say that could be an uphill battle.

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