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Khadr requests transfer to Canada

Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainee and convict Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday sent an application to the Canadian government requesting a transfer to his home state from the US military detention facility. In 2010 Khadr pleaded guilty to five charges [JURIST report] in a military tribunal, including killing a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr is the youngest prisoner to be held at the facility. Khadr's lawyer, John Norris, declared that Khadr is eager to return to Canada [CBC report] and become "a contributing member of society." Omar Khadr is the brother of Abdullah Khadr, a former Guantanamo detainee who was released last year [JURIST report]. Abdullah Khadr was detained at Guantanamo for supplying weapons to al Qaeda. According to Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews [official profile], the repatriation of Omar Khadr is being considered [AP report], and a decision is expected soon.

Omar Khadr was charged after he was captured following a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002 in which he threw a hand grenade that killed one US soldier and wounded another. In August 2010 the military judge rejected Khadr's claim that his confession was a byproduct of torture [JURIST report]. Earlier that August, the same judge ruled that Khadr's confession was admissible at trial [JURIST report]. Canada had previously declined to seek Khadr's repatriation [JURIST report] after his former lawyers obtained a ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] that the interrogation of Khadr by Canadian officials while in detention violated section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. According to the ruling, Canadian officials questioned Khadr, who was captured at age 15, even though they knew he was being indefinitely detained, and, in March 2004, he was questioned with knowledge that he was subjected to three weeks sleep deprivation by US authorities. Still, that ruling did not force the government to seek his repatriation.

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