Default entered against Omar Khadr in U.S. suit

A default certificate has been entered in a civil suit filed in Utah against Canada’s Omar Khadr by the widow of an American special forces soldier and another soldier partially blinded by a grenade, The Canadian Press has learned.

TORONTO — A default certificate has been entered in a civil suit filed in Utah against Canada’s Omar Khadr by the widow of an American special forces soldier and another soldier partially blinded by a grenade, The Canadian Press has learned.

The court entry is a first step in obtaining a final judgment that could be worth as much as US$134 million.

“We’ve got the entry of default, that’s pretty awesome,” Laura Tanner, one of the plaintiffs’ American lawyers, said from Salt Lake City on Friday.

The registration comes after Khadr, who was served with the lawsuit in prison in Alberta in June, failed to respond even though lawyers considering acting for him had twice requested time extensions to do so, court documents show.

“We haven’t seen anything, no appearance of anybody, which is actually pretty strange,” Tanner said.

Khadr’s Canadian lawyers have previously said they were unable to find an American attorney to represent him at no charge.

The plaintiffs can now ask the court clerk for a default judgment. Alternatively, they could also ask a judge in Utah to hear the case, which could result in a total damages award of as much as US$134 million.

“We haven’t really decided which path we’re going to take yet,” Tanner said.

In their lawsuit, Tabitha Speer and Sgt. Layne Morris allege Khadr, then 15, was responsible for the death of Sgt. Christopher Speer and Morris’s injuries in Afghanistan in July 2002.

Morris has said the lawsuit, which seeks almost US$45 million, aimed to hold Khadr to account for his actions.

The suit leans heavily on Khadr’s guilty plea to five war crimes before a widely maligned U.S. military commission in Guantanamo Bay in October 2010 that saw him sentenced to a further eight years in prison.

His plea deal included a stipulation of facts in which Khadr, now 28, admitted among other things to murdering Speer in violation of the rule of war and four other war crimes — although he has since said he only pleaded guilty to get out of American clutches.

While the Toronto-born Khadr is essentially broke, he is trying to sue the federal government for $20 million for alleged violations of his rights by Canadian intelligence personnel while he was in U.S. detention.

An American judgment could be enforceable in Canada but would involve having a Canadian court endorse it as the result of a fair process.

One of Khadr’s Canadian lawyers, John Phillips, said he believed that would not happen.

“I find the whole thing unjust,” he said.

Just Posted

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

A hairy issue: Sailors tell the US Navy, ‘We want beards’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Now that women in the Navy can wear ponytails,… Continue reading

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month