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

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

From courthouse to council’s house

Old courthouse had long history before becoming City Hall

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Writer says Alberta highway system falling apart

Highways in ‘deplorable’ condition: writer

County council denies request for parking lot

Buck Lake groups are welcome to raise funds and return to council

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read