Omar Khadr, who was convicted of numerous war crimes while fighting for al-Qaeda, is trying to get his record cleared by a U.S. military court.
Three judges were appointed to hear Khadr’s appeal despite being considered a fugitive by the country.
Khadr was originally convicted after admitting to killing Sergeant Chris Speer while fighting for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2002.
In July 2017, the Liberal government awarded Khadr $10.5 million in compensation for alleged human rights violations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to settle the matter out of court claiming it was the “best option” available despite the human rights abuses not being proven in a court of law.
Currently, Sgt. Speer’s family is seeking to have a $134 million claim against Khadr enforced in Canada after it was awarded to them by a Utah civil court.
“What is important are Mr. Khadr’s actions that day and leading up to that day. The plaintiffs and the Utah court hold Mr. Khadr responsible,” said Jamie Schacter, the lawyer for the Speers.
Since being released on bail in 2015, Khadr has become a wealthy and free man in Canada.
Earlier this year, an Alberta judge, appointed by Trudeau, ruled that his war crimes sentence had expired and that all remaining release conditions were to be lifted. Khadr is now allowed to obtain a Canadian passport and travel freely without restriction.
“All those conditions that were restricting his liberty up to this point are now gone, so, for example, he can apply for a passport, he can talk to his sister, he can travel around the world or around Canada without having to seek permission,” said Khadr’s lawyer Nate Whitling.
After being awarded a settlement by the Canadian government, Khadr has consistently made headlines and even appeared on television.
In April of this year, Khadr appeared on a French-language CBC program as a guest to discuss his life and plans.
During the segment titled “Omar Khadr: dreaming of an ordinary life,” Khadr was welcomed with applause.
“I think this settlement is not only for me, it’s for every Canadian. I know some people might be offended by it, but I think it’s for all of us,” said Khadr about his multi-million dollar settlement while on the show.