Patrick Rocca

Move Khadr from prison to jail, says his lawyer

EDMONTON – A lawyer representing former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr wants his client moved out of a federal prison in Edmonton.

Dennis Edney has filed an application in court to have the 26-year-old transferred out of the maximum-security Edmonton Institution.

Edney said Tuesday that the Toronto-born Khadr was sentenced for crimes committed as a teenager and he should be in another facility, such as a provincial jail.

``Under the Transfer of Offenders Act, Omar Khadr should be treated as a youth, based upon the sentence he received _ an eight year sentence _ and not be lodged in a maximum security prison as an adult.

``Our government's misconduct is a continuation of his ill treatment in Guantanamo.''

Khadr was held for a decade in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before he pleaded guilty to war crimes that included killing an American special forces soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15.

A U.S. military commission sentenced him to another eight years behind bars and he was transferred to Canada.

He first served as a maximum-security inmate in Millhaven penitentiary west of Kingston, Ont.

But when he was threatened there by a fellow inmate, he was put into isolation. A few months later, he was moved to Alberta.

Edney hopes his application for another transfer can be heard in court next month.

He said he has received a letter from federal justice officials steadfast in their position that Khadr is serving an adult sentence and should be in a federal prison.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney also issued a statement Tuesday.

``Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to very serious crimes, including the murder of American Army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer,'' Blaney said. ``The Government of Canada will vigorously defend against any attempted court action to lessen his punishment for these crimes.''

© 2013 The Canadian Press

 

 

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