Feds appeal Khadr order

OTTAWA — The courts should not force Canada to ask the United States to return Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay, federal lawyers argued Tuesday.

OTTAWA — The courts should not force Canada to ask the United States to return Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay, federal lawyers argued Tuesday.

The federal government has filed an appeal of a Federal Court ruling that it seek the return of Khadr, 22, from the U.S. military prison in Cuba.

Justice Department lawyer Doreen Mueller told three Federal Appeals court justices that Canada has gone out of its way to help Khadr.

She recounted several visits Canadian officials paid to Khadr in Guantanamo over the years, as well as diplomatic letters Canada sent the United States advocating on Khadr’s behalf.

“If there is an obligation . . . surely all this Canada has done since 2002 satisfies this obligation,” she said.

In April, Judge James O’Reilly ruled the Conservative government’s refusal to demand repatriation of Khadr offends fundamental justice.

The judge ruled that the government must ask the United States “as soon as practicable” to send Khadr home.

Opposition parties have demanded that Khadr be brought home and tried in Canada, if necessary, in light of the court decision.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Fox News this month that Canada won’t be taking any Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The charges against Khadr are before an American military commission, but the hearings are on hold pending a review of his case.

Prisoners from other western countries, including Britain and Australia, were sent home long ago.

The Federal Court justices grilled Mueller over what the harm is in asking the Obama administration to send Khadr home.

“Canada doesn’t want to ask for this because Canada doesn’t want to get a ‘yes’ answer,” Justice Karen Sharlow suggested.

Mueller replied it would interfere with the U.S. court case and would be tantamount to the courts dictating Canada’s foreign affairs.

She also called the prospect of the Americans abandoning their court case against Khadr and returning him to Canada “the most remote of all possibilities.”

“That’s one one-millionth of possible outcomes,” she said.

Navy Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler — who was recently fired and then reinstated as Khadr’s U.S. military lawyer — scoffed at the government lawyer’s claim.

“Frankly, I think the Bush administration would have honoured a request from the Canadian government to have Omar repatriated to Canada,” he said outside court.

“I think in light of the stated policy of the Obama administration to whittle down the population of Guantanamo Bay and repatriate as many detainees as possible, that it’s just absurd to think that if a request from Canada came in tomorrow that the Obama administration would not leap to take advantage of that.”

Just Posted

Manslaughter trial begins for Delburne man involved in 2016 collision

Delburne man is accused of causing a collision with a pickup he was following

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a family left homeless after… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Annual pace of housing starts picked up in November, tops expectations

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read