Omar Khadr walks out the front door of his lawyer Dennis Edney’s home to speak the media in Edmonton, Thursday, May 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

A lawyer for Omar Khadr says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee is a “model of compliance” and should have his bail conditions loosened.

Khadr, who is 32, is seeking a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and wants permission to speak to his sister.

His lawyer, Nathan Whitling, told an Edmonton court that Khadr’s appeal in the United States hasn’t “moved a single inch” while his client has obeyed all the conditions of his release.

Whitling says there is no end in sight and the court should reduce the conditions on Khadr’s freedom as much as possible.

He told court that Khadr should have the freedoms enjoyed by other Canadians.

Khadr spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught at age 15 and accused of tossing a grenade that killed special forces soldier Christopher Speer at a militant compound in Afghanistan in 2002.

“Mr Khadr has now been out on bail so long and has an impeccable record,” Whitling told the hearing Thursday. “My goodness, when is this going to end?”

Khadr wants to perform the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims once in their lifetime.

“There’s no good reason why he shouldn’t be able to do that,” Whitling said.

Khadr would also like to be able to speak on the phone or over Skype to his sister Zaynab Khadr. She has spoken in favour of al-Qaida and was investigated in Canada more than a decade ago for helping the terrorist network, but was never charged.

The rules of Khadr’s bail allow him to meet with her but only in the presence of his bail supervisor or one of his lawyers.

Whitling said it’s preposterous Khadr could speak to his sister and develop any extremist views.

Read more: Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

Read more: Omar Khadr visits with sister remain restricted, but can use internet freely

Khadr also needs permission to travel outside Alberta, and has made several trips to Toronto to visit his family and to deal with a civil lawsuit there seeking to enforce a multimillion-dollar judgment against him in Utah in favour of Speer’s widow.

Khadr’s case has ignited sharp and divisive debate among Canadians over terrorism, human rights and the rule of law since the summer of 2017 when it was revealed the federal government had settled a lawsuit filed by him for a reported $10.5 million.

The payout followed a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court in 2010 that Khadr’s charter rights were violated at Guantanamo and that Canadian officials contributed to that violation.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he hopes the court doesn’t grant Khadr’s request.

“This is someone who participated in acts of, who fought with, terrorist groups and his family is well-known for celebrating not just acts of terrorism but terrorist groups themselves,” he said in Ottawa on Thursday.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea that someone who has this track record has more access to members of his family who continue to speak out celebrating acts of terrorism, glorifying acts of violence. I think that’s just despicable.”

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: VicPD hoping to reunite stolen goods with owners after seizing items during traffic stop

Items recovered after officers stopped a vehicle driven by known property offender

Victoria council avoids 2020 deficit by deferring over $20 million in capital projects

The city will move ahead with hiring for two new positions

UPDATED: Three injured in Douglas Street crash involving impaired driver

Driver failed sobriety test, passenger arrested for possession of a controlled substance

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Most Read