U.S. Supreme Court denies appeal from Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr unsuccessfully tried to wipe away his war crime convictions after receiving an eight-year sentence for terrorism-related charges.

U.S. Supreme Court denies appeal from Omar Khadr
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Omar Khadr to wipe away his war crime convictions.

The Canadian-born, former Guantanamo detainee earlier killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Khadr, who was 15 at the time, allegedly threw the grenade that killed American special forces medic, U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. The incident occurred after a firefight at a suspected al-Qaeda compound.

After pleading guilty to terrorism charges in 2010, Khadr waived his right to appeal. He received an eight-year prison sentence in addition to time already spent at Guantanamo Bay.

Despite pushback from his lawyers, a divided three-judge panel upheld that ruling on Monday, reported Global News. Khadr was released in May 2015 pending his appeal of the guilty plea.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Ketanji Brown Jackson did not participate in the Supreme Court's consideration of Khadr's appeal. Both previously dealt with the case as appeals court judges.

Jackson explained her recusal from Monday's order, while Kavanaugh did not provide an explanation.

Khadr could've been repatriated to Canada nearly a decade ago, but then prime minister Stephen Harper blocked the move.

In 2009, a Federal Court judge ordered the federal government to repatriate Khadr as a remedy against violations of his rights while imprisoned in Guantanamo, where Canadian officials interrogated him as a minor without a lawyer. 

In legal arguments before a federal court, the Crown argued a "one in a million" chance the U.S. would accept Canada's repatriation request. Still, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the order.

After another government appeal, the Supreme Court ruled the government had to remedy the violation of Khadr's Charter rights.

In 2015 he met bail, and four years later, an Alberta judge ruled his conviction had formally expired.

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  • By Raheel Raza

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