Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 8, 2015
Omar Khadr walks free on bail after 13 years in custody
With those words, Alberta Court of Appeal Justice Myra Bielby turned down the federal government’s last-ditch effort Thursday to keep the 28-year-old detained.
Omar Khadr broke into a big, wide smile when the decision was read. His supporters in the courtroom erupted in cheers.
At 2:03 p.m. Toronto time, his lawyer Nathan Whitling posted a picture on Twitter of Khadr walking out of the courtroom with the caption: “#omarkhadr walks free.” The burly young man wore sneakers, jeans and a black T-shirt with his other lawyer, Dennis Edney, flanking him.
“Whatever anybody might think of Mr. Khadr he has now served his time.”
Bielby had heard arguments in the case Tuesday but said she could not rule immediately and granted the government a 48-hour stay in the bail order.
Her decision to turn down the government’s emergency motion cannot be appealed, but Ottawa will appeal the bail order itself, which was granted in March by Justice June Ross.
No date has been set yet for that appeal and Khadr is free on bail until the case works its way through the appeal court.
“We are disappointed by the decision of the court, because we feel that victims should be considered in the decisions,” Public Safety Minster Steven Blaney said at a press conference. Blaney said legal procedures against Khadr are “still underway” but he would not comment on whether the case will go to the Supreme Court.
In an earlier statement, Blaney also said: “Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes, including the murder of American Army medic Sergeant Christopher Speer. By his own admission, as reported in the media, his ideology has not changed. (Source: Toronto Star)