Omar Khadr. Image Credit: The Canadian Press

Lawyers seek easing of bail rules for Omar Khadr

Former detainee wants unrestricted internet access and more freedom to move around Canada

Lawyers for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr are to appear in an Edmonton court on Thursday seeking to ease his bail restrictions and grant him unsupervised visits with his sister.

Khadr is also seeking unrestricted internet access and more freedom to move around Canada while on bail pending the appeal of his conviction by a U.S. military commission for five purported war crimes.

The now 31year-old has been free on bail for more than two years and notes no issues have arisen since his release.

Right now, he can only have contact with his sister Zaynab Khadr if one of his lawyers or bail supervisor is present.

Khadr is arguing he wants to reconnect with his family and is old enough that he can’t be negatively swayed.

Several years ago, Zaynab and her mother infuriated many Canadians by expressing support for the al-Qaida terrorist group.

In 2005, Zaynab was investigated by RCMP for allegedly aiding al-Qaida, but no charges were filed. She is now reportedly living in Sudan with her fourth husband, but is planning a visit to Canada.

Thursday’s hearing is the next phase in a 15-year legal journey for Khadr that has ignited sharp and divisive debate among Canadians over terrorism, human rights and the rule of law.

The Toronto-born Khadr spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught, as a teenager, and accused of tossing a grenade that killed army medic Christopher Speer during a firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan in 2002.

In 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to multiple charges before a U.S. military commission, including to killing Speer, but has since said he can’t remember if he tossed the fatal grenade. He has said he entered the plea to try to get out of Guantanamo, where he says he was mistreated, and into the Canadian justice system.

He returned to Canada in 2012 to serve out the rest of the eight-year sentence he was given.

Canada’s Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that Khadr’s charter rights were violated at Guantanamo and Canadian officials contributed to that violation.

Khadr filed a $20-million lawsuit against the government and last month it was revealed he had settled the case for a reported $10.5 million. That set off a fierce debate.

He has said he wants to get on with his life. He recently married and plans to move to the city of Red Deer, halfway between Edmonton and Calgary, to begin studies to become a nurse.

Dean Bennett , The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Rogue masseur arrested for sexual assault in Victoria

John Heintzelman, 65, is accused of assaulting a person at his former business, James Bay Massage

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

WEEKEND HITS: Here’s what’s happening in Sooke this weekend

Looking for something to do over the next few days. Here are… Continue reading

‘Think of me’ puts human face to speeding

Children’s illustrations deliver a plea to speeding drivers

WATCH: Greater Victoria restaurant chain stepping up after employee struck by SUV

31-year-old Khushal Rana fighting for his life in Victoria hospital

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Weekend hit list: Things to see and do in Greater Victoria

The Victoria Fall Home Expo returns, Rebels host the Cullen Cup, a gallery tour and more

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Director pledges to eat a worm for donation to Saanich sanctuary

$500 donation to Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary will see Kathleen Burton chow down on mealworms Oct. 29

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Salmon have arrived in Saanich

Two weeks ago, Dorothy Chambers, lead steward with Colquitz River fish fence,… Continue reading

Most Read