Omar Khadr will appeal convictions

Omar Khadr is seen in this undated family handout photo.

Omar Khadr is seen in this undated family handout photo.

Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:49 PM ET

OTTAWA - Omar Khadr’s legal team will “absolutely” move to appeal his convictions of murder and terrorism within the month, his Canadian lawyer confirmed Saturday.

Edmonton-based lawyer Dennis Edney said Khadr, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges including murder, spying and terrorism, will soon file an appeal to a U.S. civilian federal court that has already tossed out two Guantanamo military tribunal convictions.

Khadr, 26, struck a plea deal in 2010 that led to him being sentenced to eight years in prison for five war crimes, including the murder of U.S. special forces medic Christopher Speer in a firefight in Afghanistan.

Upon throwing the hand grenade that killed Speer in 2002, Khadr was shot and captured at age 15.

Khadr was then detained at a U.S. military prison Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a decade, where he pleaded guilty and reached his plea deal in return.

In a unanimous ruling in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada found Khadr’s charter rights were violated in U.S. custody, but overturned lower court orders that suggested the feds had to bring him back to Canada from Guantanamo.

After years of petitioning the government in a bid to return to Canada, Khadr was transferred back in September 2012 and arrived at Millhaven maximum-security prison in Bath, Ont.

Under Canadian law, Khadr will also be eligible for a parole hearing this July because he will have served one third of his sentence.

Amnesty International and opposition federal parties welcomed Khadr’s repatriation to Canada last year.

Civil rights advocates, including Liberal Senator and retired lieutenant general Romeo Dallaire, suggested Khadr should have been treated as a child soldier.

The UN has also condemned Canada and the U.S. for prosecuting a juvenile of war crimes.

If his legal team is successful in its upcoming appeal, Khadr could be set free.

In a statement on Saturday, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews suggested Khadr’s immediate future will be in the hands of the Parole Board of Canada, but made no mention of the move to appeal.

“Omar Khadr is a convicted terrorist,” Julie Carmichael said. “He pleaded guilty to the murder of Christopher Speer, an American army medic.”

Toews has previously said Khadr idealizes his father and denies Ahmed Khadr’s history of terrorist action and association with al-Quaida.

The minister has also said Omar Khadr’s mother and sister have openly applauded his crimes and terrorist activities.”


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