July 7, 2017 / 3:45 PM / 3 years ago

Canada apologizes to ex-Guantanamo inmate, pays compensation

FILE PHOTO: Omar Khadr smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta, May 7, 2015. Khadr, a Canadian, was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Friday formally apologized to a Canadian citizen held at Guantanamo Bay for a decade and said it had reached a financial settlement with him, a decision that could prove unpopular for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Omar Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 at age 15 after a firefight with U.S. soldiers and spent a decade in the prison on a U.S. military base on the eastern tip of Cuba.

In 2010, the Canadian Supreme Court said Canada breached his rights by sending intelligence agents to the jail to interrogate him and sharing the results with the United States.

“We wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr for any role Canadian officials may have played in relation to his ordeal abroad and any resulting harm,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a statement.

Goodale and Freeland gave no further details. Sources close to the case said this week Khadr would received C$10.5 million ($8.2 million).

The settlement is the fifth that Canada has reached since 2007 with citizens imprisoned abroad who alleged Ottawa was complicit in their mistreatment.

The official opposition Conservatives and other critics denounced news of the deal when it broke earlier in the week, saying Ottawa had no business settling with a man who admitted killing a U.S. medic during the 2002 firefight.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish

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