NEWS

Omar Khadr Flies To Toronto To Visit Grandparents

10/01/2015 06:22 EDT | Updated 10/01/2016 05:12 EDT

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr arrived Thursday at Toronto's Pearson International Airport from Edmonton on a court-approved visit to see his grandparents.

It is the first visit of its kind for Khadr, 28, who was released on bail in May pending an appeal in the U.S. of his conviction for war crimes. He has been living in Edmonton with his lawyer Dennis Edney under the terms of court imposed restrictions.

The Toronto native refused to speak to reporters as he was whisked away in a dark SUV, accompanied by his lawyer.

Khadr was accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. He confessed to a military tribunal and was convicted and spent 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.

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.

He was returned to Canada on Sept. 29, 2012, to serve the remainder of his sentence here.

Two weeks ago, Justice June Ross of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench ruled Khadr could remove an electronic monitoring bracelet, be allowed to visit his grandparents in Toronto, and speak to them in a language other than English.

The judge also ordered the removal of monitoring software on the laptop computer Khadr uses for school. The software was interfering with the operations of the computer, and Alberta Justice had been unable to help resolve the problems.

Khadr's arrival Thursday dispels questions as to whether he is able to board a commercial aircraft in Canada because of the potential he was on a no-fly-list.

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