Omar Khadr's road to trial

Omar Khadr is accused by the United States of killing a U.S. soldier with a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15. Here is a timeline of events, from the Khadr family's arrival in Canada to the beginning of his U.S. military trial.
Omar Khadr is shown in a Guantanamo Bay interrogation room in this image taken from a 2003 surveillance video. (Handout/Canadian Press) (Handout/Canadian Press)

Omar Khadr is accused by the United States of killing a U.S. soldier with a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15. Here is a timeline of events, from the Khadr family's arrival in Canada to the beginning of his U.S. military trial.

Aug. 9, 2010

Khadr's pre-trial hearing begins before a U.S. military court in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This timeline  follows the proceedings .

July 12, 2010

A U.S. military judge refuses to allow Omar Khadr to dismiss his court-appointed military lawyer. Khadr tells the court there's no chance of him receiving a fair trial, regardless of his legal representation. He vows to boycott the legal proceedings.

On the same day, the federal government says it will appeal the court ruling that ordered it to remedy the breach of Khadr's constitutional rights.

July 7, 2010

Omar Khadr fires his three American lawyers — two civilians and one court-appointed military lawyer — one of the attorney says. The move comes less than a week before his military commission pre-trial hearings are slated to resume in Guantanamo Bay.

July 5, 2010

The Federal Court of Canada gives the federal government seven days to come up with a list of remedies to its breach of Omar Khadr's constitutional rights.

June 15, 2010

Abdulkareem Ahmed Khadr, 21, is charged with one count each of sexual assault and sexual exploitation, according to police.

April 29, 2010

Omar Khadr's defence team rejects a plea-bargain offer from U.S. military prosecutors that would have forced him to serve any sentence in a U.S. prison, one of Khadr's lawyers says.

April 28, 2010

Pretrial proceedings for Canadian Omar Khadr get underway in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the prosecution and defence both wrangling over what witnesses will be allowed to testify before the U.S. military commission hearing the case.

Feb. 16, 2010

Ottawa seeks assurances that the United States will not use evidence obtained by Canadian officials in their interviews with accused terrorist Omar Khadr in any future prosecution against him. The official request is made in a diplomatic note to the U.S. government.

Feb. 3, 2010

The Canadian government says it has no plans to push for the repatriation of Omar Khadr, according to the Prime Minister's Office spokesman Dmitri Soudas and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Jan. 29, 2010

The Supreme Court of Canada has overturned lower-court orders that the Canadian government must try to return Omar Khadr to Canada from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay — even though the court agrees his human rights have been violated and continue to be violated by Canadian officials.

Nov. 13, 2009

Omar Khadr will be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, where he will face terrorism charges in a military commission, The Associated Press reports. Ottawa meanwhile presents its case at the Supreme Court of Canada, appealing a Federal Appeal Court decision to uphold a lower-court ruling that required the federal government to try to repatriate Khadr.

Oct. 7, 2009

Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler is officially dismissed from Omar Khadr's legal defence team. Khadr's Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney, says Kuebler put his self-interest ahead of his client.

Aug. 25, 2009

The federal goverment will appeal a ruling forcing Ottawa to press for the release of Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay.

"After careful consideration of the legal merits of the ruling … the government has decided to seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court" of Canada, Foreign Affairs says in a statement.

Aug. 14, 2009

The Federal Court of Appeal upholds a ruling that orders the Canadian government to press for Omar Khadr's return from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

June 23, 2009

Federal lawyers file an appeal of the court ruling that ordered the government to seek Omar Khadr's return to Canada from Guantanamo Bay.

April 28, 2009

Col. Patrick Parrish, the judge presiding over Omar Khadr's military commission proceedings, orders that the hearings will go ahead June 1.

April 24, 2009

During question period, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon tells the House of Commons that the government will "probably appeal" Justice James O'Reilly's ruling that Canada must press the U.S. for the return of Omar Khadr.

Cannon's office later tells CBC News that the government is going ahead with the appeal.

April 23, 2009

Federal Court Justice James O'Reilly rules in favour of Omar Khadr's charter challenge of the Canadian government's decision not to request his repatriation from the U.S. detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

O'Reilly rules that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is required to press the United States for the return of Khadr to Canada to "comply with a principle of fundamental justice."

April 4, 2009

Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler, the Pentagon-appointed lawyer for Omar Khadr is removed from the case and reassigned following an internal probe into his conduct. The reasons for Kuebler's dismissal are not released.

Feb. 10, 2009

Omar Khadr's lawyer, Dennis Edney, tells the Canadian Press that Khadr would be willing to face prosecution in Canada and undergo a period of transition under the guidance of an expert team if the United States sent him home.

Jan. 22, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama signs an executive order to close the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba within a year.

Jan. 20, 2009

Military prosecutors request a suspension of all trials at Guantanamo Bay, including the trail of Omar Khadr, on order of U.S. President Barack Obama. Col. Patrick Parrish, the U.S. military judge overseeing Khadr's case, calls a halt to proceedings.

Jan. 19, 2009

At a military commission hearing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, FBI Special Agent Robert Fuller says a then teenaged Khadr identified Canadian Maher Arar as someone he saw at al-Qaeda safe houses and possibly training camps in Afghanistan.

Arar was cleared of any links to terrorism by a public inquiry in 2006.

Fuller initially said that Khadr immediately identified Arar from black-and-white photos showed him during two weeks of interrogations. On cross-examination, however, Fuller admitted it took Khadr several minutes to identify the man in a photograph.

Dec. 12, 2008

Omar Khadr's military-appointed lawyer tells a pretrial hearing that a photograph and an American soldier's testimony prove that Khadr could not have thrown the grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

Oct. 28, 2008

Khadr lawyer Nate Whitling tells a Canadian federal court that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has an obligation to demand the repatriation of Omar Khadr because Canada was complicit in his torture.

Whitling says his client was subjected to the "frequent flyer program" — a process of constantly waking and moving a prisoner from cell to cell — to soften him up for interrogation by Canadian intelligence officials.

Government lawyers argue that the government had nothing to do with any mistreatment.

Oct. 24, 2008

U.S. military judge Col. Patrick Parrish delays the trial of Omar Khadr until Jan. 26, 2009. The trial was slated to go before a military commission at the U.S. naval base on Nov. 10.

July 15, 2008

Video is released of Canadian spy agents questioning Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay in February 2003. In the video, made public under a court order obtained by his lawyers, a teenaged Omar sobs uncontrollably and tells a Canadian Security Intelligence Service official several times: "You don't care about me."

July 10, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeats vows to leave Omar Khadr's case in U.S. hands, despite reports a day earlier that Canadian officials knew of Omar's harsh treatment by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay.

June 3, 2008

Foreign Affairs documents report that U.S. soldiers guarding Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay have said that he is a "good kid" and "salvageable," but a prolonged detention at Guantanamo Bay could turn him into a radical.

May 29, 2008

Omar Khadr's lawyer, Lt.-Cmdr. William C. Kuebler, says the U.S. military judge presiding over Khadr's trial has been fired.

April 17, 2008

A letter submitted in court filings by Omar Khadr's defence lawyers shows Canada asked the United States not to send Khadr to Guantanamo after he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002.

March 18, 2008

In an affidavit, Omar Khadr says U.S. military interrogators in Afghanistan threatened him with rape and treated him harshly, forcing him to make false statements.

September 2007

A three-member appeal panel rules that the decision was in error and reinstates the charges against Khadr. Khadr's lawyers later filed an appeal, seeking to stop the U.S. military case against their client. A judge ordered in October that Khadr's trial proceed.

June 4, 2007

A U.S. military judge drops all charges against Omar Khadr because he is an "enemy combatant," and the military commissions have jurisdiction only over "unlawful enemy combatants."

April 19, 2006

Omar Khadr's U.S. military attorney tries to have two Canadian lawyers officially added to the legal team defending Omar against murder charges. Lt.-Col. Colby Vokey says his client needs extra lawyers on his side, given what he calls the arbitrary nature of the military proceedings at Guantanamo.

Jan. 9, 2006

U.S. authorities say Omar Khadr will appear before a military commission on Jan. 11. The 19-year-old is accused of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and "aiding the enemy."

Dec. 23, 2005

Abdullah Khadr is denied bail by a judge who says al-Qaeda could help him escape. He is to face an extradition hearing in January.

Dec. 19, 2005

Abdullah Khadr appears in a Toronto court, accused of plotting to kill American soldiers abroad. He is ordered to return to court two days later for a bail hearing. The RCMP arrested Khadr on Dec. 17 at the request of U.S. authorities.

Dec. 7, 2005

Abdullah Khadr returns to Toronto – a free man – after being released from custody in Pakistan, where he had been held for a year. There had been allegations that Abdullah ran an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan while he was a teenager in the 1990s. But he had not been criminally charged.

Nov. 7, 2005

Omar Khadr, held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is charged with murder and conspiracy. Khadr and four others who face serious charges are entitled to "representation by a military defense counsel free of charge with the option to retain a civilian defense counsel at no expense to the U.S. government," according to a statement on the U.S. Department of Defence website.

Aug. 10, 2005

A Federal Court judge rules that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms extends to Omar Khadr, being held by Americans in Cuba, and that CSIS must stop interrogating him.

June 18, 2005

An Ontario judge rules that RCMP officers can hold items seized from Zaynab Khadr, Ahmed Said Khadr's daughter, while they investigate her possible connections to al-Qaeda. The items, including a laptop computer, a diary and audio tapes, were seized when Khadr entered Canada in February 2005.

Feb. 9, 2005

Lawyers for Omar Khadr reveal that CSIS officials have interrogated their client in Cuba, and say the Canadian government has done little to protect his rights.

Sept. 16, 2004

The U.S. Department of Defence releases unclassified documents that claim Omar Khadr has admitted to being a "terrorist."

July 12, 2004

The Globe and Mail reports that Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham invoked his Crown prerogative in March 2004 to act outside the laws and deny Abdurahman Khadr a Canadian passport. In a letter to Khadr's lawyer, Clayton Ruby, Attorney General Irwin Cotler says the decision was based on information from CSIS that must remain secret. Ruby says Khadr can't be denied a passport based on secret information and calls it a breach of his rights under the Charter.

April 9, 2004

Two more members of the Khadr family, Maha Elsamnah Khadr and her 14-year-old son Karim, land in Toronto, after the Canadian government granted them emergency passports so Karim could get medical treatment for injuries sustained in a shootout in October 2003.

March 4, 2004

In an interview with the CBC's The National Abdurahman Khadr says his family has ties to al-Qaeda and he was trained to become a suicide bomber. But he says he does not share the views of some members of his family.

Feb. 25, 2004

Abdullah Khadr agrees to meet with CBC News in a secret location in Islamabad for an interview. "If I was the suicide bomber, I wouldn't be doing this interview with you right now," he says. He says he wanted to return to Canada, but was afraid of being arrested at the border.

Feb. 4, 2004

A Taliban official tells Agence France-Presse that the suicide bomber who killed a Canadian soldier, Cpl. Jamie Murphy, in Kabul in late January 2004 was Abdullah Khadr. He identifies the bomber as Mohammad Abdullah, the son of a Canadian citizen and al-Qaeda member named Abdul Rehman. Ahmed Said Khadr sometimes assumed the name Ahmed Saeed Abdur Rehman Khadar in Pakistani media reports.

Jan. 24, 2004

Pakistani officials use DNA testing to confirm that Ahmed Said Khadr was killed in the raid the past October. Abdul Karim Khadr is reportedly paralysed in the shootout. The Khadr family demands that Abdul Karim and the body of Ahmed Said Khadr be returned to Canada.

Dec. 4, 2003

Abdurahman's lawyer, Rocco Galati, announces he is stepping down from all national security cases because of a death threat. Omar Khadr remains in Guantanamo among an estimated 660 detainees.

Nov. 30, 2003

Abdurahman Khadr arrives in Toronto.

Oct. 2, 2003

After reports that senior members of al-Qaeda are hiding in Waziristan, Pakistan, armed forces in Pakistan stage an attack on their hideout. After a firefight lasting several hours, the Pakistan army takes 18 prisoners and pulls eight bodies, including that of patriarch Ahmed Said Khadr, from the safehouse.

At the time, his 14-year-old son Abdul Karim is also believed dead. It is later confirmed that Abdul survived but was badly hurt.

July 21, 2003

American officials release Abdurahman and send him to Afghanistan. He maintains he was unaware of his rights as a citizen to be sent to Canada. He accuses the Canadian Embassy in Pakistan of denying him access to consular services. After making his way to Pakistan, Khadr says the guards at the embassy turned him away. Khadr travels to Iran, Turkey and Bosnia. The Canadian Embassy in Bosnia arranges for him to return to Canada.

Early 2003

Abdurahman is transferred to the stockade at Guantanamo where he is held as an "enemy combatant."


Omar Khadr is shot three times in a battle with American troops in Afghanistan. He loses the sight of one eye. He is sent to Guantanamo, Cuba, accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade.

Nov. 10, 2001

Abdurahman is arrested as a suspected member of al-Qaeda one day before the Taliban falls to the U.S.-supported Northern Alliance.

Sept. 11, 2001

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden and other members of Al-Qaeda leave Jalalabad, Afghanistan for the Pakistan-Afghan border. The U.S. government compiles and releases a list of suspected terrorists. Ahmed Said Khadr is on the list


The Khadr family attends the wedding of Osama bin Laden's son, Muhammed.


Abdurahman says Canadian spies question him during a visit to Toronto. After a few months in Canada, he rejoins the rest of the Khadr family in Kabul.

September 9, 1999

Bin Laden attends the wedding of Zaynab Khadr, one of two Khadr daughters.

Aug. 21, 1998

The U.S. government retaliates by launching three missiles from naval destroyers in the Arabian Sea. One of them is aimed at a training camp led by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and where Abdurahman was training. He says he was with a Canadian friend when a missile hits the camp.

Aug. 7, 1998

Al-Qaeda bombs the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Abdurahman says he was in an Afghan training camp at the time.

January 1996

After having been detained in Pakistan on suspicion of funding the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Ahmed Said launches a hunger strike. He gathers his six children, contacts Canadian journalists and asks Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to intervene. Chrétien later raises the issue with the Pakistani government during a trade mission.

Khadr is released. He then encourages his four boys to attend training camps in Afghanistan.


The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, which provokes the declaration of a holy war. Ahmed Said travels to Afghanistan to fight against Soviet forces as a volunteer. It is during this time that he met fellow volunteer Osama Bin Laden.


Ahmed Said Khadr immigrates to Canada from Egypt and met his wife, Maha. She is a Palestinian-Canadian and had been a long-time Ottawa resident.