Canada gives $8M, apology to former Guantanamo prisoner

A Canadian citizen who spent 10 years in the Guantanamo Bay prison will receive an apology from the federal government and a settlement of about CAN$10 million, Canadian media reported Tuesday.

In 1969, David Milgaard, 16 at the time, was charged and then wrongfully convicted of murder. Alternatively, it wants any government money flowing to Khadr to go instead to relatives of Sgt. Chris Speer and retired USA sergeant Layne Morris.

The settlement, confirmed by sources familiar with the deal, exposed the deep chasm that has divided Canadians over Khadr nearly since 2002 when he was dragged horrifically wounded as a 15-year-old from the battlefield in Afghanistan.

The Khadr saga - from his capture in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan to news this week of a settlement in a lengthy civil case - has spanned years when both the Liberals and Conservatives have been in power.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, confessed to the crime during interrogation by Canadian intelligence officers that were conducted under "oppressive circumstances" while a prisoner at Guantanamo.

In 2015, a U.S. judge ordered Khadr to pay Speer's widow and Morris $134.2m in damages. "If the federal government has an extra $10-million kicking around they should give it to the families of Canadian military veterans who were killed in Afghanistan by people who were fighting alongside Khadr".

Winer, who refused further comment, said he had not heard anything from Khadr's Edmonton-based lawyer, Dennis Edney, who also refused to discuss the case.

Former Conservative defence minister Jason Kenney, now the leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party, fired off an angry tweet on Tuesday about the $10.5-million in compensation that Ottawa is prepared to pay Mr. Khadr, who was accused of throwing a grenade that killed USA army medic Christopher Speer in the firefight.

Khadr was returned to Canada in 2012 and immediately sent to a maximum-security prison.

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Khadr, who some have called a "child solider", apologized to his victims after leaving prison and said he wants to get an education to work in health.

January 29, 2010: The Supreme Court overturns court orders that the Canadian government should repatriate Khadr, despite agreeing his human rights were violated.

"The Supreme Court rulings were very clear". He was serving an eight-year sentence, his attorneys said two years ago.

February 11, 2014: Khadr's lawyer confirms his client's move to medium-security Bowden Institution near Innisfail, Alta. In May 2015 a judge granted him bail while he appeals his convictions for murder, attempted murder, providing material support for terrorism, spying and conspiracy. This after the Supreme Court ruled Khadr's rights had been violated while detained.

August 19, 2015: Khadr is eligible for statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence as a youth.

September 18, 2015: Judge allows him to visit his grandparents in Toronto if he travels with his lawyer.

Omar Khadr's photograph released by his family when he was 14.

In March, Mr. Khadr underwent a 19-hour operation in an Edmonton hospital to fix his shoulder, which was severely damaged during the firefight with U.S soldiers.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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