Thursday, August 05, 2010

Canadian judge frees Abdullah Khadr instead of extraditing him to US

Canadian judge frees 'al-Qaeda' man Aug. 4, 2010
Khadr has been held for nearly five years and has appeared in court a number of times

A Canadian man indicted in the United States on terrorism charges has been freed from jail after a Canadian judge refused to extradite him.

Abdullah Khadr has been held in Canada since his arrest in December 2005. US officials accused him of purchasing weapons for al-Qaeda, and based their charges in part on a statement he made in Pakistan to the FBI and Canadian police.

Khadr's lawyers argued that the statement was the result of torture, and the judge in Khadr's case agreed, calling it "manifestly unreliable".

Canadian judges rarely deny extradition requests from the US. Christopher Speyer, the judge, called his ruling "a remedy of last resort," and held that Khadr was illegally detained and interrogated.

"I think this is going to be a new beginning for me in life," Khadr said after the ruling. "I just want to start anew now."

Rob Nicholson, Canada's justice minister, said the government would study the ruling closely before deciding whether to appeal.

Khadr is the eldest son of Ahmed Said Khadr, an alleged al-Qaeda member who was killed in 2003 by the Pakistani army.

Khadr's younger brother, Omar, is currently detained in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. The US accuses him of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002.

The younger Khadr is scheduled to go on trial at Guantanamo later this month.

The United States paid the Pakistani government half a million dollars for Abdullah Khadr's capture, according to court records.

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