There are conflicting reports about whether Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay, could be headed home to Canada to finish serving out his sentence.
The Huffington Post claimed it has learned that Khadr, who has been imprisoned at the US military base for the past decade, will be returned to Canada by mid-December. But the Vancouver Sun now reports a spokesman from the Prime Minister's office says that is not the case. Andrew MacDougall used Twitter to say, "False no decision made."
PMO spokesman Andrew MacDougall's tweet about Khadr
The Huffington Post says the convicted war criminal was 15-years old when he was captured on an Afghan battlefield 10-years ago. He had been wounded by shrapnel during a four-hour firefight with American troops during which he threw a grenade that killed American Army Sergeant Christopher Speer. He pleaded guilty to five crimes including murder, in violation of the rules of war, before a military commission in October 2010 and was given an eight-year prison sentence. He was to serve one more year at Guantanamo and then be transferred to Canada. But while the Americans waited until April of this year to approve his transfer, the Harper government refused to sign off on it, leaving Khadr in US custody.
Khadr's Canadian lawyers filed a Federal Court application in July,calling the delay in deciding the case “unreasonable” and “an abuse of process.”
The Huffington Post says Public Safety Minister Vic Toews wasn't expected to make the formal announcement about Khadr for several weeks when it learned the Canadian, who turns 26 next week, would be sent to a federal prison, to remain in segregation for his own safety.
The Khadr case has divided Canadians since his arrest. A poll released last month found 60% of Canadians don't think Khadr should be returned to Canada, and an even larger number (71%) don't think he should be paroled. Under Canadian law, Khadr could be eligible for parole as early as next spring or summer, after serving one-third of his sentence.