Guantánamo

Widow seeks enforcement of judgment against ex-Gitmo inmate

Nate Whitling, the Edmonton-based lawyer for former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, is seen outside court in Toronto on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Whitling successfully fended off an attempt from the widow of a slain U.S. soldier to freeze Khadr's assets.
Nate Whitling, the Edmonton-based lawyer for former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, is seen outside court in Toronto on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Whitling successfully fended off an attempt from the widow of a slain U.S. soldier to freeze Khadr's assets. AP

Canadian lawyers acting for the widow of an American soldier have filed an application in Alberta seeking enforcement of a U.S. damages award against former Guantánamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.

The claim calls on the Court of Queen’s Bench to recognize the judgment from Utah, and to issue a judgment in the $132.1 million award made in June 2015. The application essentially duplicates one filed earlier in Ontario.

The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops after a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. Khadr was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer.

Tabitha Speer, the soldier’s widow, and Layne Morris, who was blinded in the 2002 firefight, won the wrongful-death judgment against Khadr two years ago in Utah.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Canadian captive at Guantánamo Bay

Khadr, who recently got married, was paid US$8 million by Canada’s government last month under a court ruling that his rights were violated while he was locked up at the American prison for a decade.

One of Khadr’s Edmonton-based lawyers, Nate Whitling, said on Thursday that it would be a waste of time and money to try two identical actions at once.

“It’s two duplicative actions and there’s no point in proceeding with both of them,” Whitling said from Edmonton.

He also said the Alberta action had been filed too late.

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