TORONTO – Canada’s department of public safety announced Thursday afternoon that it is dropping its appeal of a Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta ruling that determined Omar Khadr would be released on bail in Canada pending a U.S. Appeal of his convictions and sentence south of the border.
“The Government of Canada respects the decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta which determined that Mr. Khadr be released on bail in Canada pending his US appeal of his US convictions and sentence,” the statement reads.
In April, an Alberta judge granted Khadr bail. He had been transferred to Canada to finish serving a U.S. Sentence for terrorism-related offences following a firefight with U.S. Forces in Afghanistan in 2002- Khadr was just 15 at the time.
He pleaded guilty to several war crimes IN 2010, including the murder of an American soldier. A United States military commission sentenced him to another eight years behind bars. He was transferred to Canada in 2012 after having spent time as the youngest prisoner in the U.S.’ notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, where he was also the lone westerner behind bars there at the time.
Khadr later said he only pleaded guilty to get out of Guantanamo Bay.
The Harper government had filed the original appeal of the Khadr bail ruling before losing power to the Liberal party in the October federal election.
In a news release, the public safety ministry said “withdrawing this appeal is an important step towards fulfilling the Government’s commitment to review its litigation strategy.”
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