Saturday, September 29, 2012

Guantanamo's last Western detainee returned to Canada

(Reuters) - The youngest prisoner and last Westerner held in the Guantanamo military base, Omar Khadr, was sent to finish his sentence in his native Canada on Saturday, the Canadian government said.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said that Khadr, who was a 15-year-old fighting in Afghanistan when captured in 2002, had been flown from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a military base in Trenton, Ontario and transferred to the province's Millhaven maximum-security prison.

Khadr's case has been controversial both in Canada and abroad given his age when he was captured, the nature of his detention and hearing, and the reluctance of Canadian officials to accept his return.

"I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr's sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration," Toews said in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A U.S. war crimes tribunal in 2010 sentenced Khadr, now 26, to 40 years in prison, although he was expected to serve just a few more years under a deal that included his admission he was an al Qaeda conspirator who murdered a U.S. soldier. Read More