Canada’s federal government says it will appeal a ruling by Alberta’s top court that orders Omar Khadr be transferred to a provincial jail.
The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that the 27-year-old Khadr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, should be serving a youth sentence in Canada and not housed in a federal prison.
Shortly after the ruling, federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Ottawa will apply to delay the transfer while it asks the Supreme Court to hear the case. Mr. Blaney said a youth sentence is not appropriate for Khadr.
“Omar Ahmed Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes,” Mr. Blaney said in a statement. “We have vigorously defended against any attempt to lessen his
punishment for these crimes. That is why the Government of Canada
will appeal this decision and seek a stay to ensure that he stays in
federal prison — where he belongs.”
Meanwhile, the Alberta government said it is reviewing the decision and has yet to determine the details of Khadr’s transfer to provincial custody.
In 2010, the Toronto-born Khadr pleaded guilty to five war-crimes charges, including murder, for killing an American soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15.
He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer during a battle at an Afghan compound in July 2002.
After spending 10 years in Guantanamo Bay, Khadr was sentenced by a U.S. military commission to an additional eight years and sent to Canada.
Earlier this year, Khadr was reclassified as a medium-security inmate and transferred to Bowden Institution in central Alberta from the maximum-security Edmonton Institution.