Ex-Guantanamo inmate Khadr uncertain about firefight memory: paper

Thu May 28, 2015 12:05am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Omar Khadr, who was once the youngest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, is unsure about his memory of a firefight that led to his murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal, according to an interview published on Wednesday.

Khadr, 28, was the first person since World War Two to be prosecuted in a war crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile.

In 2010, he pleaded guilty to charges that included

murdering American Army medic Christopher Speer with a grenade

in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002, when Khadr was 15.

He has recanted that confession since returning to Canada in 2012 and was released on bail this month while he appeals against his conviction.

In an interview with a Toronto Star journalist and documentary film crew, Khadr said he agreed to the deal because he was advised it was his only way out of the U.S. naval base prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"I have memories but I don't know if they're mine, if they are accurate or not," Khadr said, adding that he was unconscious for a week after the event and then brutally interrogated.

Khadr was blinded in one eye and shot in the back in the battle. His lawyers have argued there is evidence he did not throw the grenade that killed Speer.   Continued...

 
Lawyer Dennis Edney (L) and Omar Khadr answer questions during a news conference after Khadr was released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber