Court denies former Guantanamo detainee's transfer
(AFP) – 3 days ago
Ottawa — A Canadian court on Friday denied former Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's transfer from a maximum to a minimum security prison where he might be eligible for parole.
Khadr, now 27, sought to have his detention in a federal penitentiary for dangerous criminals in Edmonton declared illegal.
His lawyer Dennis Edney argued that because Khadr was 15 at the time of his offenses he should be jailed in a more comfortable provincial correctional facility for petty criminals and youth offenders.
But Canada's government opposed the move, calling it an attempt to lessen his punishment.
In his ruling, Judge John Rooke said the case was "not about any determination of the level of punishment," but rather a simple interpretation of legislation on housing prisoners transferred from abroad.
"The interpretation by the CSC (Correctional Services of Canada) that Mr. Khadr should be placed in a penitentiary is the correct statutory interpretation," he said.
The broader implication for Khadr is that it will be harder for him to obtain early release as long as he is classified a maximum-security risk by his jailers.
Edney told public broadcaster CBC that he would appeal the decision.
He noted that the United States and others have deemed Khadr to be a minimum security risk, and "posed no violent threat to anybody."
The lawyer lamented that as long as Khadr is designated a maximum security risk by Canadian authorities "that he will never get out of prison before his time's up."
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney welcomed the ruling, saying Khadr had "pleaded guilty to heinous crimes."
Khadr was repatriated to Canada in September 2012 after spending 10 years in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba following his arrest in Afghanistan as a teenager in 2002.
He was sentenced to eight years in 2010 following a military hearing in which he agreed to plead guilty to murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.
The murder charge related to a grenade attack that killed a US soldier.
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