By Debbie Gregory.
A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who killed a U.S. soldier and injured another in Afghanistan recently received an apology and an $8 million check from the Canadian government.
Retired U.S. Special Forces soldier Layne Morris was blinded by a grenade thrown by Canadian-born Omar Khadr during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002.
“I don’t see this as anything but treason,” Morris said. “It’s something a traitor would do. As far as I am concerned, Prime Minister Trudeau should be charged.”
Khadr was 15 years old when he was captured by U.S. forces following a firefight that cost Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer his life and Morris the sight in one eye.Khadr had accompanied his al Qaeda fighter father to Afghanistan. He was convicted of killing Speer in 2010 by a U.S. military commission
Morris has always maintained that Khadr threw the grenade that wounded him as well.
Khadr was allowed to return to Canada two years after his conviction to serve out the remainder of his sentence there, but was released in May 2015 pending an appeal.
Now it appears that Khadr, who is now 30, will receive a formal apology as well as an $8 million settlement from the Canadian government for allegedly conspiring with the U.S. to violate his constitutional rights.
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled twice — the first time in 2010 — that Khadr had been interrogated under “oppressive circumstances” at Guantanamo and that Canadian officials were complicit in his mistreatment. An anonymous source familiar with the case told the Canadian Press wire service that the Trudeau government wanted to “get ahead of an attempt by [Morris] and [Speer] to enforce a massive U.S. court award against Khadr in Canadian court.”
Trudeau recently defended the deal saying, “When the government violates any Canadian’s charter rights, we all end up paying for it.”
Lawyers for Morris and Speer’s widow, Tabitha Speer, will ask a Canadian court for an urgent order to have Khadr’s payout frozen pending the outcome of a request to recognize a 2015 $134.1-million US Utah judgment against Khadr.
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