Omar Khadr walks out the front door of his lawyer Dennis Edney’s home to speak the media in Edmonton, Thursday, May 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

A lawyer for Omar Khadr says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee is a “model of compliance” and should have his bail conditions loosened.

Khadr, who is 32, is seeking a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and wants permission to speak to his sister.

His lawyer, Nathan Whitling, told an Edmonton court that Khadr’s appeal in the United States hasn’t “moved a single inch” while his client has obeyed all the conditions of his release.

Whitling says there is no end in sight and the court should reduce the conditions on Khadr’s freedom as much as possible.

He told court that Khadr should have the freedoms enjoyed by other Canadians.

Khadr spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught at age 15 and accused of tossing a grenade that killed special forces soldier Christopher Speer at a militant compound in Afghanistan in 2002.

“Mr Khadr has now been out on bail so long and has an impeccable record,” Whitling told the hearing Thursday. “My goodness, when is this going to end?”

Khadr wants to perform the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims once in their lifetime.

“There’s no good reason why he shouldn’t be able to do that,” Whitling said.

Khadr would also like to be able to speak on the phone or over Skype to his sister Zaynab Khadr. She has spoken in favour of al-Qaida and was investigated in Canada more than a decade ago for helping the terrorist network, but was never charged.

The rules of Khadr’s bail allow him to meet with her but only in the presence of his bail supervisor or one of his lawyers.

Whitling said it’s preposterous Khadr could speak to his sister and develop any extremist views.

Read more: Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

Read more: Omar Khadr visits with sister remain restricted, but can use internet freely

Khadr also needs permission to travel outside Alberta, and has made several trips to Toronto to visit his family and to deal with a civil lawsuit there seeking to enforce a multimillion-dollar judgment against him in Utah in favour of Speer’s widow.

Khadr’s case has ignited sharp and divisive debate among Canadians over terrorism, human rights and the rule of law since the summer of 2017 when it was revealed the federal government had settled a lawsuit filed by him for a reported $10.5 million.

The payout followed a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court in 2010 that Khadr’s charter rights were violated at Guantanamo and that Canadian officials contributed to that violation.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he hopes the court doesn’t grant Khadr’s request.

“This is someone who participated in acts of, who fought with, terrorist groups and his family is well-known for celebrating not just acts of terrorism but terrorist groups themselves,” he said in Ottawa on Thursday.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea that someone who has this track record has more access to members of his family who continue to speak out celebrating acts of terrorism, glorifying acts of violence. I think that’s just despicable.”

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

OP-ED: Improving access to justice means modernizing legal practice

Use of technology in law firms could help British Columbians afford essential legal services.

UPDATED: Man reportedly stabbed with ‘pen’ in downtown Maple Ridge

Woman arrested, man refused to go to hospital: Ridge Meadows RCMP

Maple Ridge vet trying not to euthanize spotted salamanders

Without permits, he can only send them to zoos.

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

A Maple Ridge woman started an online petition called Justice for Carson Crimeni.

LETTER: Pitt Meadows should have lowest taxes

New council seems set on its own vision of a restyled Pitt Meadows.

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

15-year-old charged following threat to South Surrey high school

Police announce pair of teens arrested for Nov. 14 incident at Elgin Park Secondary

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Most Read