Canada

Ottawa's Omar Khadr legal costs top $1.3M: report

The Canadian government has spent more than $1.3 million in its legal fight against Omar Khadr, according to a published report Friday.

The Canadian government has spent more than $1.3 million in its legal fight against Omar Khadr, according to a published report Friday.

The Toronto Star says there are also more legal bills to come that will have to be covered by Canadian taxpayers.

Khadr, now 22, is accused by the United States of killing a U.S. soldier with a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15. He has been held by the U.S. at the Guantanamo Bay prison since then.

The cost of the government's legal bill for dealing with the Khadr case was contained in a written response to a question put forward by the New Democratic Party in June.

In early September, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear the federal government's appeal of a ruling forcing Ottawa to press for the release of Khadr from Guantanamo Bay. The matter is slated to go before the court on Nov. 13.

The top court's decision will come after the Federal Court of Appeal in August upheld a lower-court ruling that required Ottawa to try to repatriate Khadr, the only Western citizen still being held by the United States at its military base in Cuba.

Lawyers for the federal government have argued that only the prime minister and cabinet should have the authority to make decisions regarding foreign policy.

The U.S. case against Khadr at a military tribunal in Guantanamo is adjourned until Nov. 16 while U.S. President Barack Obama decides how to proceed with Khadr and roughly 200 other prisoners there. Obama has vowed to shut down the controversial prison at the military base in Cuba.

now