Lawyer argues Omar Khadr has right to bail like any other prisoner in Canada

A lawyer for former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr says his client’s appeal in the United States is taking too long and he should be released on bail.

EDMONTON — A lawyer for former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr says his client’s appeal in the United States is taking too long and he should be released on bail.

Nathan Whitling is asking an Edmonton judge to grant the 28-year-old Khadr bail while he appeals his war-crimes conviction before a U.S. military court.

Whitling says Khadr has a right to seek bail just like every other prisoner in Canada.

If released, Khadr plans to live in Edmonton with one of his other lawyers, and a university has agreed he can enrol there as a student.

The federal government is arguing that a Canadian court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to grant bail on a foreign sentence.

It also says allowing Khadr out would subvert international law and damage Canada’s relationship with the United States.

Khadr is more than half-way through an eight-year sentence that he is serving at Bowden Institution in central Alberta.

He admitted to five war crimes committed when he was a 15-year-old in Afghanistan in July 2002, but has said he only pleaded guilty to get out of Guantanamo.