PHOTO: Omar Khadr, a 15 year old boy, helpless and left to die after being shot in the back by US Troops.
Omar Khadr’s lawyers are arguing that the new information bolsters allegations that Canada conspired with the U.S.
As early as August 2002, when Toronto-born captive Omar Khadr was in a hospital at a U.S. base in Afghanistan, Canadian security investigators were trying to get access to the
A heavily censored report released for the first time as part of a $20-million lawsuit against the Canadian government states that members of the RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) were negotiating access to Khadr.
In a Toronto court Wednesday morning Khadr’s lawyers are arguing that the new information bolsters allegations that Canada conspired with the U.S. to deny the Toronto-born captive his rights while in U.S. custody.
Canada’s treatment of Khadr is at the heart of a lawsuit against the government that was filed in 2004 but stalled until Khadr’s return to Canada last year.
“Toronto INSET was further advised that the U.S. State Department would permit Canadian authorities an opportunity to interview Omar Khadr should it be established that any such interviews would further investigations within their jurisdiction,” says the INSET Investigation and Planning Report.
Another document – a 2003 RCMP monthly report – states that if the U.S. had not charged Khadr, Canada should “pursue its own prosecution,” under the country’s newly established anti-terrorism laws.
If Khadr were charged in Canada he would be given access to a lawyer and his age would be a factor – two of the rights that his lawyers say were ignored in Guantanamo.
Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley will rule on whether the initial claim can be amended to include the conspiracy allegations.
Khadr’s statement of claim alleges that both the Liberal government who were in power during Khadr’s early incarceration and the subsequent Conservative governments were not passive bystanders in Khadr’s incarceration, but willingly co-operated with the U.S. in violation of Canadian and international laws.
The claim also alleges that Canada continues to deprive Khadr of his rights while in custody by failing to recognize him as a child soldier during the time of his detention.
Khadr was 15 when shot and captured following a July 27, 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. U.S. Delta Force soldier Christopher Speer was fatally wounded and died 10 days later at a German hospital.
In October 2010, Khadr was given an eight-year sentence and a chance to return to Canada for pleading guilty to five war crimes in Guantanamo, including “murder in violation of the laws of war,” for Speer’s death.
The UN’s former Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy condemned both the U.S. and Canada for its treatment of Khadr, whose prosecution was the first war crimes trial of a juvenile in more than 50 years.
In an affidavit filed Friday Khadr said the plea agreement was “constructed by the U.S. government in its entirety,” claiming he only signed it to get out of Guantanamo.