POLITICS

Parole hearing cancelled for Omar Khadr since he's already out on bail

05/12/2015 03:40 EDT | Updated 05/12/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - A parole board hearing set for former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr has been cancelled.

A spokesman with the Parole Board of Canada says Khadr's prison sentence was put on hold when he was released on bail last week.

Gary Sears says because Khadr is not currently serving his sentence, the parole board has no jurisdiction to hold the hearing that had been set for June.

The Toronto-born Khadr was released from Bowden Institution near Innisfail, Alta., after serving nearly 13 years since his capture as a wounded 15-year-old in Afghanistan.

While in Guantanamo, he pleaded guilty to five war crimes, including murder for the death of an American special forces soldier.

But he says he only pleaded guilty to get out of Guantanamo and was granted bail pending an appeal in the United States.

The Canadian government lost a last-ditch attempt before the Alberta Court of Appeal, arguing that giving him bail would threaten an international treaty under which Khadr was brought back to Canada from Guantanamo Bay in 2012.

It has maintained that Khadr is an unrepentant terrorist who needs to serve his full sentence.

The Appeal Court ruled that the government had failed to prove Khadr's release would cause serious harm to Canadian interests or pose a risk to the public.

Khadr, 28, told reporters soon after his release that he hopes Canadians will give him a chance.

"I will prove to them that I'm more than what they thought of me. I'll prove to them that I'm a good person,'' he said outside his lawyer's home, where he must live as part of his bail conditions.

He must also obey a curfew and wear a tracking bracelet.