Canada court ends US bid for terror suspect

AP News
Posted: Nov 03, 2011 11:48 AM
Canada court ends US bid for terror suspect

A Canadian indicted in the U.S. on charges he supplied al-Qaida with weapons in Pakistan will not be extradited to the United States after Canada's Supreme Court said Thursday it wouldn't hear the case.

Abdullah Khadr had been held in Canada on a U.S. warrant after his December 2005 arrest before he was released in 2010. He was released after two provincial courts in Ontario suspended his extradition, ruling his rights were violated during his detention in Pakistan.

Dennis Edney, his lawyer, said the top court's decision not to hear the Canadian government's appeal means the case is over. The government had argued it was wrong to prevent an "admitted" terrorist from facing trial in the U.S.

As is usual practice, the Supreme Court did not give reasons why it didn't hear the case.

Abdullah Khadr's younger brother, Omar Khadr, is the last Western detainee held at Guantanamo Bay. Omar is accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade during a 2002 battle in Afghanistan. Omar pleaded guilty and was eligible to return to Canada by Nov. 1 to continue serving his sentence, but he remains in custody there and the Canadian government has said prisoner transfer cases typically take 18 months.

The father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was an alleged al-Qaida militant and financier, killed in 2003 when a Pakistani military helicopter attacked the house where he was staying with some senior al-Qaida operatives.

Another of Khadr's brothers, Abdurahman Khadr, has acknowledged that their Egyptian-born father and some of his brothers fought for al-Qaida and had stayed with Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. case against Abdullah Khadr relied on statements he made to the FBI and Canadian police in Pakistan, and information he gave when he arrived in Toronto in December 2005. Khadr's lawyers argued the statements made in Pakistan were the result of torture.

The CIA paid Pakistani authorities a $500,000 bounty to detain Abdullah Khadr in October 2004. He was prevented from speaking to Canadian consular officials and allegedly beaten until he cooperated with Pakistani intelligence. American agents also interrogated him in Pakistani detention and got him to admit he had procured weapons for al-Qaida.

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The U.S. alleges Abdullah Khadr bought AK-47 and mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and containers of mine components for al-Qaida for use against coalition forces in Afghanistan. He allegedly bought the weapons at the request of his father, authorities said.

After Pakistani intelligence officers detained Abdullah Khadr in 2004, he was returned to Canada in 2005. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested him at the request of the United States.

In August 2010, Ontario Superior Court Justice Christopher Speyer ruled there were sufficient grounds to send Khadr to the U.S. based on self-incriminating statements he'd given to Canadian police, but Speyer stopped the extradition on the grounds the U.S. had violated fundamental justice with its involvement in Khadr's "shocking" mistreatment during his time in custody in Pakistan.

Speyer ruled that extraditing him would only serve to reward the Americans' "gross misconduct."

This past May, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld Speyer's ruling.

Edney said the court's decision showed that human rights and the rule of law trump security.