TORONTO — Pakistani authorities were willing to release Abdullah Khadr into Canadian custody 10 months before they finally let him go, a senior RCMP officer testified Wednesday.
However, Det.-Insp. Konrad Shourie said there were no grounds to detain the Canadian citizen, so Khadr remained in Pakistani detention until he was finally released without charge in December 2005.
“The Pakistanis believed we could just arrest him (but) that wasn’t the case,” Shourie told Khadr’s extradition hearing.
“The Pakistanis were saying, ‘You can have him if you place him in custody.’ We couldn’t do that.”
The Toronto-born Khadr is fighting extradition to the United States, which wants to try him for plotting to kill Americans and buying weapons for al-Qaida.
He argues self-incriminating statements he gave should be discounted because he was tortured during his 14 months in Pakistani custody.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Dennis Edney on Wednesday, Shourie was adamant Khadr never said anything about being abused while incarcerated in Pakistan.
“There was nothing to indicate he’d been mistreated,” the officer said.