Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Part One of The Current
It's Thursday, April 19th.
The federal government says it will process Omar Khadr's transfer request 'in accordance with Canadian law' - which means it could let him back into Canada.
Currently, just don't expect the government to welcome back, Khadr.
(Sound up short song lyrics: Welcome back, welcome back, welcome baaaack.)
This is The Current.
Omar Khadr's anticipated return to Canada - Former Gitmo Prisoner
Prime Minister Stephen Harper rarely had a comment on the Omar Khadr case, but it's become clear over the years that his government doesn't particularly want Khadr back in Canada. Despite that resistance, it appears Khadr might be inching closer to coming home.
Yesterday, the federal Government acknowledged it's received a formal request from Washington to transfer Khadr from Guantanamo Bay to Canada, so he can serve out the rest of his eight-year sentence for crimes related to terrorism.
At a military tribunal, Khadr pleaded guilty to five charges, including killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. He was 15 when captured -- he's 25 now. He remains an extremely polarizing figure in this country. And the fact he may walk the streets as a free man annoys people who consider him an unrepentant killer. Others see him as a child soldier deserving rehabilitation.
Omar Deghayes has a clearer understanding than most of what the future might hold for Omar Khadr. Mr. Deghayes spent more than five years in the Guantanamo Bay prison before being released without charge in what was eventually acknowledged to be a case of mistaken identity. He spent some of that time with Khadr. Omar Deghayes is now living in Brighton, England.
Omar Khadr's anticipated return to Canada
Omar Khadr is apparently looking forward to returning to Canada - so say his lawyers. Still, it would be a significant transition for a man who left here when he was just a boy and has spent years in detention, branded a war criminal.
To talk about Omar Khadr's future, we were joined by John Norris. He is one of Khadr's Canadian lawyers and he was in our Toronto studio.
The Current did request an interview with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, but he was not available this morning.
This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar and Gord Westmacott.
Other segments from today's show: