Omar Khadr, once a Guantanamo inmate, freed on bail in Canada

Thu May 7, 2015 1:14pm EDT
 
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By Dan Riedlhuber

EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, will be released on bail from an Alberta prison on Thursday while he appeals a murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal.

A judge in an Alberta court ruled that Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 and pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier, can be released on bail, denying an appeal by the Canadian government to keep him in custody.

Khadr, 28, was transferred to Alberta from prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 2012.

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

The Khadr case has divided Canadians. While the government has opposed his release, human rights advocates such as Amnesty International have argued that the one-time child soldier has been denied access to due process.

Bail conditions imposed by an Alberta court include that Khadr wears an electronic monitoring device, lives with his lawyer in Edmonton, observes a nightly curfew, and has only monitored contact with his family.

"I am delighted, incredibly delighted. It has taken too many years to get to this point," Khadr's lawyer, Dennis Edney, told reporters outside the Edmonton courthouse.

He said Khadr would speak to reporters on Friday to tell his story to the Canadian public.   Continued...

 
Omar Khadr is shown in this handout photo released to Reuters on April 25, 2015.     REUTERS/Bowden Institution/Handout via Reuters