Instead, Justin Trudeau gave him $10,500,000. But that doesn’t mean that Khadr’s hands are clean.
“Let’s not forget there was once talk about charging Khadr here in Canada,” by Anthony Furey, Postmedia Network, July 22, 2017:
…One of the things that’s been frustrating regular Canadians after learning Khadr hit the settlement jackpot with a $10.5 million pay-out is this impression left to them by the chattering classes and much of the media narrative that he’s 100% a victim, through and through.All they’ve been hearing about is how wronged he was: how poorly he was treated by Americans and successive Canadian prime ministers; and how his rights were violated and courts have ruled in his favour and that the settlement was both legally necessary and fiscally prudent.
There are varying degrees of truth to these claims. But regardless, there’s been little acknowledgement from official Ottawa during this most recent chapter that Khadr did bad things and that at one point the government was considering pressing charges against him here on home soil.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the other week: “I can understand Canadians’ concerns about the settlement. In fact, I share those concerns about the money. That’s why we settled.” The few remarks he’s made on the case have stuck to a similar tune. It would be nice to get a bit more insight into what he means by that though.
I’m not sure if the terms of the apology preclude the government from speaking ill of Khadr in other aspects, but it certainly would have gone a long way if Trudeau had made it clear he shares Canadians’ concerns not just about the raw sum but the very concept of doling out cash to someone who fought alongside al-Qaeda, regardless of how legally bound he felt to make the payment. To put it more bluntly: Trudeau should publicly make it clear he doesn’t think Khadr’s an angel.
After all, in the years leading up to the Supreme Court rulings on Khadr’s situation, an argument from voices in the legal community was to repatriate and then charge him on Canadian soil with Criminal Code violations.
Back in 2008, a group of University of Ottawa law students and their professor Craig Forcese – who has written extensively on the case – spoke to a foreign affairs subcommittee at the House of Commons to discuss the case for charging Khadr.
Basically, they argued there was a whole number of Criminal Code violations that Khadr could conceivably be charged with and potentially convicted, if he was repatriated.
The charges they considered to varying degrees covered war crimes, treason and terror-related offences.
“The first thing is that we agree with you completely that repatriation doesn’t equal impunity,” Forcese told the committee of MPs. “It’s not that Mr. Khadr will be repatriated and there will be no prospect of criminal charges or other measures being taken against him.”…