Omar Khadr leaves the courthouse in Edmonton on Dec. 21, 2018, after a judge denied his request for bail changes.
TORONTO — Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is asking Alberta youth court to order his release and declare his eight-year sentence — imposed by a widely maligned military commission in the United States — to have expired.
n a separate application before Federal Court, Khadr is attempting to force national parole authorities to grant him a hearing at which he would argue for release.
The overriding idea, Khadr’s Edmonton-based lawyer said in an interview Tuesday, is to ensure an end point to the eight-year sentence the commission imposed on him in 2010.
Had Khadr, 32, remained in custody, his sentence would have expired this past October. However, the clock stopped ticking when an Alberta judge freed him on bail in May 2015 pending his appeal of his military commission conviction for war crimes — a years-long process that still has no end in sight.
“The bail order does interrupt the ticking of the clock but practically speaking, the guy has served his sentence now,” lawyer Nate Whitling said from Edmonton. “The youth court judge does have the authority to just simply terminate the sentence and say, ’It’s now over’.”
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old to be a youth sentence. His application, to be heard this month, asks a youth judge to release him under supervision for a single day, then declare his sentence served.