Vic Toews says public safety trumps the speedy return of convicted terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr to Canada.
Toews was responding Monday to Khadr sympathizers and lawyers who are crying foul over what they perceive is foot-dragging by Ottawa to let the killer serve the remainder of his eight-year sentence in Canada.
The public safety minister said he won't be "pushed" into making a decision despite attempts by Khadr's legal team to force the matter in federal court.
Lawyers for the Guantanamo Bay inmate asked late Friday for a judicial review of the government's refusal to request U.S. officials transfer the Toronto-born, 25-year-old to a Canadian prison from his military cell in Cuba.
"I'm not going to make any decisions that would in any way jeopardize public safety. I have an obligation to satisfy myself that I have all of the relevant information before I make a decision," Toews said in Saskatchewan.
"At this point I do not have all the relevant information and I will not be pushed into making a decision that would have me consider less than the full facts."
Toews received a formal request from Washington in April for the transfer of the war criminal, who was eligible to return to Canada last October under terms of a plea bargain reached in 2010.
Under that deal, Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes, including the 2002 murder of an American medic during a firefight in Afghanistan. He had to serve one year in Cuba.
Khadr supporters argue he was a child soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time and should be given a break while others say he's a terrorist and knew the consequences of tossing the hand grenade that killed the U.S. soldier.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled his constitutional rights were violated, but did not instruct Ottawa to seek his return.