Omar Khadr wants bail eased so he can fly to Toronto to visit family

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is asking a Canadian court to ease his bail conditions to allow him to fly to Toronto to visit his family, The Canadian Press has learned.

TORONTO — Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is asking a Canadian court to ease his bail conditions to allow him to fly to Toronto to visit his family, The Canadian Press has learned.

Among other things, Khadr also wants to be rid of his electronic monitoring bracelet, arguing it’s embarrassing and intrusive, and his curfew eased.

“My release and reintegration into the community have been going great,” Khadr says in a supporting affidavit.

“I have not gotten into any trouble of any kind with the authorities.”

An Alberta judge granted Khadr bail May 7 pending his appeal in the U.S. against his 2010 conviction for war crimes — including the murder of an American special forces soldier — by a widely discredited military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

He transferred to Canada in 2012 and remained incarcerated until winning bail and tasting freedom for the first time since his capture as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan in July 2002.

However, bail came with stringent conditions — including that he live with his lawyer Dennis Edney in Edmonton and not leave Alberta — except to stay at Edney’s vacation home in B.C.

He was also required to communicate with his family — some of whom expressed pro-al-Qaida views in the past — only in English and under the Edneys’ supervision.

“I am now an adult and I think independently,” Khadr, 29, says in the document.

“Even if the members of my family were to wish to influence my religious or other views, they would not be able to control or influence me in any negative manner.”

Khadr’s maternal grandparents live in Toronto. He says his grandmother is ill and his grandfather barely speaks English. As a result, he says, he wants to be able to visit them and converse in another language without the Edneys present.

He also says he wants to see his mother, siblings, and other relatives during a two-week visit to Toronto either this month or next.

“None of my family members are involved in any illegal activity,” he states.

There was no immediate word on the government’s response to Khadr’s application to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, which is expected to hear the matter Sept. 11 in Edmonton, according to legal filings.

However, the Conservative government has frequently denounced any attempt by Khadr to “lessen his punishment” for what it called “heinous crimes.” While Ottawa is appealing the fact he was granted bail, it has yet to request a date or file supporting documents.

Alberta’s Court of Appeal has previously decided the eight-year sentence the commission gave Khadr as part of his plea bargain amounts to a youth sentence — something the federal government is appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada. That means he would have been eligible for statutory release Aug. 19, according to Correctional Service Canada.

Khadr says it’s time to take off his electronic ankle bracelet, which he calls uncomfortable.

“It has also gone off several times and made noise all the time, even when I am in full compliance with my conditions,” he says. “This can be particularly embarrassing.”

He says he wants to be able to attend early morning prayers — but needs to be allowed to leave home at 5 a.m. to do so, or to take a walk or ride his bicycle.

“The original conditions are no longer necessary or in the public interest,” Khadr’s lawyer Nate Whitling writes in the bail-variance application.

Just Posted

Alberta Council on Aging to meet in Red Deer

Event at Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre

Tickets sold for 2019 Red Deer County farm tour

The Aug. 7 tour will focus on east end of County

Two Albertans will split multi-million-dollar lottery prize

Is one of the mystery winners from Red Deer region?

Motorcyclist dies of injuries

Ponoka RCMP continue to investigate collision

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Opinion: Throwing cold water on fee for calling firefighters

There’s never any upside to adversity. Whether it’s the loss of a… Continue reading

Canadian sports fans have changed since the Blue Jays’ World Series wins

TORONTO — After more than a quarter century since one of the… Continue reading

Henderson wins Meijer LPGA to break Canadian victory record

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Brooke Henderson won the Meijer LPGA Classic on… Continue reading

Franchise fatigue continues with ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Shaft’

LOS ANGELES — Brand familiarity isn’t everything when it comes to attracting… Continue reading

‘Hunger Games’ prequel novel coming in 2020

NEW YORK — A decade after seemingly wrapping up “The Hunger Games,”… Continue reading

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Most Read