Omar Khadr has been brought from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba back to Canada and is being held at Millhaven prison in Ontario, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed Saturday morning.
Read Toews' statement below, as well as statements from the U.S. Department of Defense, Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, and Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar and International Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston.
Statement by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews
Good morning. I will be making a short statement.
Early this morning, convicted terrorist Omar Khadr was transferred to Canadian authorities at CFB Trenton.
This was done pursuant to a decision I made earlier this week.
He arrived at 07:40 ET aboard a U.S. Government aircraft travelling from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He has been transferred from CFB Trenton to Millhaven maximum security prison at Bath, Ontario.
Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and a convicted terrorist.
He pleaded guilty to the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, an American Army medic, who was mortally wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002 and died on August 6, 2002.
Omar Khadr also pleaded guilty to:
• Providing material support for terrorism;
• Attempted murder in violation of the law of war;
• Conspiracy and spying
Omar Khadr was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, he has a right to enter Canada after the completion of his sentence.
This transfer occurs following a process initiated by the United States Government and determined in accordance with Canadian law.
The remainder of his prison sentence will be administered by the Correctional Service of Canada.
I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr’s sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration.
Any decisions related to his future will be determined by the independent Parole Board of Canada in accordance with Canadian law.
Statement by the U.S. Department of Defense
The Department of Defense announced today that Omar Ahmed Khadr was transferred from the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Canada.
Omar Khadr pleaded guilty, pursuant to a pre-trial agreement in a military commission, to murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.
Pursuant to the pre-trial agreement, the convening authority approved an eight-year sentence of confinement. The pre-trial agreement specifies that one year of confinement must be served in the custody and control of the United States, and that Khadr could be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence in accordance with Canadian law.
The United States Government has returned Khadr to Canada where he will serve out his remaining sentence. The United States coordinated with the government of Canada regarding appropriate security and humane treatment measures. In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer Khadr to Canada.
Documents related to Khadr’s military commission proceedings are available on the Office of Military Commissions website at http://www.mc.mil/.
Today, 166 detainees remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay.
Department of Defense Sept. 29, 2012
Statement by Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae
“Omar Khadr's return to Canada is long overdue. Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was a child soldier. It is extremely unfortunate that it took the Conservative government this long to fulfil its responsibility to bring him back to Canada.
Now Mr. Khadr will serve the remainder of his sentence under the supervision of the Canadian correctional system, and we can ensure that he receives proper treatment and rehabilitation.”
Statement by Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar and International Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston
Today, the Conservatives ended nearly a decade of unnecessary delays and allowed Omar Khadr to serve out the remainder of his sentence in Canada. Canada is the last Western country to repatriate their citizens from the discredited Guantanamo prison system.
Mr. Khadr's return to Canada was inevitable, yet the Conservatives chose to drag this process out for years at great cost to taxpayers. Their mishandling has hurt our relationship with the United States, our closest ally, and tarnished Canada's reputation on the international stage.
Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the U.S. Supreme Court, based on the full facts of this case, have found that the military commission proceedings in Guantanamo violated both U.S. domestic law and Canada’s international human rights obligations.
Conservatives have previously faced court judgments against them for their mishandling of the case and failure to respect human rights.
The government should now allow Mr. Khadr to be handled by Canadian authorities in accordance with Canadian law, free from interference.