GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A military jury on Sunday gave teen terrorist Omar Khadr a 40-year prison sentence for killing an American commando in Afghanistan, but the sentence was merely symbolic — the United States already had agreed to limit Khadr’s prison time to eight years, and Canada last week said it would allow Khadr to serve the bulk of his sentence there.
Canada had been cagey in public about its agreement to the deal, under which Khadr pleaded guilty to war crimes. But the military judge at Khadr’s trial on Sunday released an exchange of diplomatic notes between the U.S. and Canadian governments that included Canada’s assertion that it “is inclined to favourably consider Mr. Khadr’s application to be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence” or whichever portion Canada’s National Parole Board decides is required.
The note was signed by the Canadian Embassy on Oct. 23, with no name attached.
That agreement will allow Khadr to be released from prison by age 32, if not earlier under Canadian parole provisions.
Khadr, 24, looked straight ahead when the jury foreman announced the 40-year sentence. The widow of his victim, Tabitha Speer, 40, cheered “yes,” and then wept.
“He will forever be a murderer my eyes,” Speer said.
The 40-year sentence, even though it will never be enforced, provided a sense of finality, she said — along with assurances that Khadr would never be allowed to enter the United States or ride on an airplane.
Read More: By Carol Rosenberg | Miami Herald