The government will pay prisoner Omar Khadr – once one of the youngest inmates at the US prison – $7.7 million for abuse he faced in detention and for evidence obtained under "oppressive circumstances".

Omar Khadr after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta. May 7, 2015. (File photo)
Omar Khadr after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta. May 7, 2015. (File photo) (TRT World and Agencies)

The Canadian government will apologise to former Guantanamo Bay inmate, Omar Khadr and give around C$10 million ($7.7 million) to compensate him for the abuse he suffered in detention, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 at the age 15 after a firefight with US soldiers. He pleaded guilty of killing a US Army medic. He was the youngest inmate held at the military prison in Cuba.

But Khadr later recanted and his lawyers said he had been grossly mistreated.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from Khadr under "oppressive circumstances," such as sleep deprivation, during interrogation at Guantanamo Bay in 2003. The court also ruled that Canada breached his rights by sending intelligence agents to interrogate him and sharing the results with the US.

Khadr spent a decade in Guantanamo before being returned to Canada in 2012 to serve the rest of his sentence. He was released on bail in 2015 and lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

The government and Khadr's lawyers agreed on the compensation deal, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the matter.

Khadr, 30, had sued Ottawa for C$20 million on grounds of violating his human rights.


Defenders called Khadr a child soldier but the then-Conservative government dismissed calls to seek leniency, noting he had pleaded guilty to a serious crime.

"Meet Canada's newest multi-millionaire – Omar Khadr," said the Conservatives as they unveiled a protest petition.

"It is one thing to acknowledge alleged mistreatment, but it is wrong to lavishly reward a convicted terrorist who murdered an allied soldier who had a wife and two children," said Tony Clement, the Conservative Party's public safety spokesman.

But "it is the right decision in light of the callous and unlawful treatment meted out to Mr Khadr with the complicity of Canadian officials," said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on the reports that Khadr was to be compensated.

Speaking in Dublin on Tuesday, Trudeau said, "There is a judicial process under way that has been under way for a number of years now and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that the judicial process is coming to its conclusion."

Source: AP