Omar Khadr's curfew request granted
Judge says she needs more time to consider other bail condition requests
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr was granted a bit more freedom from an Edmonton judge on Friday morning.
He's now allowed to attend early-morning prayers and attend a night class, one of several bail condition requests he made.
Decisions on whether he can visit his family in Toronto and if he can speak to his family in a language other than English will be made next week, said Justice June Ross, adding she wants to hear from Khadr's bail supervisor first.
Khadr, 28, was released on bail in May pending an appeal in the U.S. of his conviction for war crimes, including the murder of an American soldier.
- Khadr wants bail restrictions lifted to allow Toronto visit
- Khadr lawyer says client is adapting well to life in Canada
- Free on bail, Khadr vows to prove he is 'a good person'
He has been living in Edmonton with his lawyer, Dennis Edney, since his release.
In paperwork filed with Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Khadr also asked for:
- The removal of his electronic monitoring bracelet. Khadr's lawyer said in court that his client plays on a soccer team, and the bracelet interferes with his ability to play.
- A change to his bail restriction that he only speak to his family in English and in the presence of a chaperone, since his grandfather doesn't speak English. Khadr argues he is now mature enough not to be influenced by views held by his family.
- Changes to his curfew, so he can attend early-morning prayers at a mosque and sign up for night classes for an emergency medical responder program.
- Permission to travel to the Toronto area to visit his brothers and stay with his grandparents.
The Crown argued in an Edmonton courtroom on Friday morning that it is still in the public interest to have Khadr wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, but was supportive of a shortened curfew allowing him to attend early morning prayers.
The Crown said it doesn't support Khadr travelling to Ontario but if a visit is approved, they want restrictions on whom he can see.
Outside of court, Dennis Edney, Khadr's lawyer, said he hoped the judge allows his client to travel to Toronto but didn't want to "second-guess" her. He said relaxing the curfew hours will be "very helpful" for his client.
Before his release in May, Khadr spent 13 years in prison, 10 at Guantanamo Bay.
He was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old after a firefight with U.S. soldiers, and accused of throwing a grenade that killed the American soldier.
In a plea deal that included his repatriation to Canada, Khadr pleaded guilty on Oct. 25, 2010, to murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, and two counts of providing material support for terrorism and spying.
He was returned to Canada on Sept. 29, 2012, to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Since Khadr's release, the Supreme Court has decided that if he were to go back into custody, he would be held as a provincial prisoner not a federal one.
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