POLITICS

Omar Khadr's confession to throwing grenade noted in 2004 document

05/21/2015 07:56 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT
Documents obtained by CBC News reveal details of an interview between Omar Khadr and U.S. military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay in 2004, in which Khadr confesses to throwing a hand grenade that killed a U.S. soldier.

The documents, which Khadr's lawyers say they have never seen but were leaked toCBC's Power & Politics, detail a three-hour interview in which Khadr talks about his actions on July 27, 2002, that led to the death of U.S. soldier Christopher Speer in Afghanistan.

Khadr's lawyers have repeatedly stated that any confessions Khadr made were done under duress and that he was tortured while in captivity. 

CBC's Terence McKenna, who has done extensive investigative work on the Khadr case, including two documentaries, questioned this confession, saying there have been at least eight confessions by Khadr, with details changing from report to report. 

"This document wouldn't last five minutes in a court of law," he said.

Khadr was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old after the July 2002 firefight with U.S. soldiers. Khadr was released on bail earlier this month after spending 10 years at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba before being transferred to the Millhaven Institution near Kingston, Ont., and later to the Bowden Institution near Innisfail, Alta.

In a plea deal that would include his repatriation to Canada, Khadr pleaded guilty on Oct. 25, 2010, to murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, and two counts of providing material support for terrorism and spying.

As part of this plea deal, Khadr agreed to a nine-page statement of facts which included a confession about throwing the grenade. However, Khadr's lawyers have said that they told Khadr to agree to these facts so he could get released from Guantanamo.

According to the Dec. 8, 2004 documents, a report titled Criminal Investigation Task Force Report Of Investigative Activity, Khadr didn't immediately confess to throwing the grenade, and that it was only after he "was told of the other evidence that showed he threw the grenade, did Khadr admit to being armed with the grenade and throwing it."

The report states that Khadr had been interviewed the day before by agents, had come to trust them, appreciated that they had showed him a video of his brother, and that he wanted to talk about his case.

July 2002 firefight

He describes in detail about being at the compound in Khowsi, Afghanistan, in July 2002, and being told that Americans were on their way. ​

Following a firefight between men in the compound and the Americans, Khadr pulled a grenade he had been given earlier from a pocket in the right side of his shirt, according to the report.

With his ammunition vest empty, Khadr was told to use the grenade to defend himself.

"Khadr pulled the pin on the grenade as he had seen in movies," the report states. 

The report says that Khadr, with his right hand, threw the grenade over his shoulder toward the Americans.

"He did not see who he threw the grenade at and he did not see the explosion. He just knew he threw the grenade in the direction of the Americans," the report states.

Khadr did hear the explosion, then gunfire from the Americans, at which point he was shot three times in the back, the report says.​