Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer
was murdered by Omar Khadr.
Convicted terrorist Khadr coming back to Canada, NDP says war criminal should be compensated
OTTAWA – Convicted al-Qaida terrorist and killer Omar Khadr is coming home.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Thursday the government won’t block the transfer of Khadr from a cell in the Caribbean to a Canadian prison.
Toews squelched speculation the government was considering using a clause in the International Transfer of Offenders Act to keep the 25-year-old, Toronto-born Khadr out of Canada on national security grounds.
“Under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, he is a Canadian citizen. He is also a Canadian citizen under the Charter which entitles him to come back to Canada, eventually,” Toews told QMI Agency.
“The issue is when does he come back to Canada? That’s a determination I have to make and I haven’t made any decision in that respect yet.”
The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been feeling the pressure from Washington officials who want to wash their hands of the only remaining westerner incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
NDP says war criminal should be compensated
Toews said it would be up to the National Parole Board to decide when to integrate Khadr back into society.
Khadr was 15 years old when he was captured by American troops after a lobbing a hand grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002 in Afghanistan.
He has been in custody ever since.
The government is also bracing for a multimillion-dollar lawsuit after the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 Khadr’s rights were violated while in U.S. custody.
Civil rights groups, lawyers sympathetic to Khadr and the Official opposition NDP say the war criminal should be compensated.
Operation Enduring Freedom
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer was born in Denver, Colo., on September 9, 1973 and enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 8, 1992.
After completing basic combat training, he graduated from the Medical Specialist course and was assigned to the U.S. Army Hospital at Carlisle Barracks, Penn.
In November 1994, Speer volunteered and was selected for Special Forces training. He completed his Special Forces training in early 1997 as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D) and was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., in May of the same year.
He remained in 3rd Group for several years until his assignment to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Speer deployed to Afghanistan this spring to augment special operations forces in the country. He was one of five soldiers wounded July 27.
Speer’s awards and decorations include the Soldiers Medal, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and two Army Achievement Medals.
Speer was authorized to wear the Combat Medical Badge, Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge, Scuba and Air Assault Badges and the Special Forces Tab.
His wife, Tabitha; daughter, Taryn; son, Tanner and mother, Betty, survive him.