EDMONTON — Lawyers for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr are scheduled to appear in Edmonton court today to seek changes to bail conditions he faces while he appeals war crime convictions by a U.S. military commission.
Khadr, who is now 32, is seeking a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and wants permission to speak to his sister.
An application filed by his lawyer, Nathan Whitling, suggests Khadr’s appeal in the United States has been overly delayed and he has obeyed all the conditions of his release.
It says those conditions have caused psychological stress and anxiety.
Khadr spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught at age 15 and accused of tossing a grenade that killed special forces soldier Christopher Speer at a militant compound in Afghanistan in 2002.
He says in an affidavit attached to the application that the “indefinite and potentially endless detention” continues.
Khadr adds that he would like to perform the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia which is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims once in their lifetime.
He would also like to be able to speak on the phone or over Skype to his sister Zaynab Khadr. She has spoken in favour of al-Qaida and was investigated in Canada more than a decade ago for helping the terrorist network, but was never charged.
The rules of Khadr’s bail allow him to meet with her but only in the presence of his bail supervisor or one of his lawyers.
Khadr also needs permission to travel outside Alberta, and has made several trips to Toronto to visit his family and to deal with a civil lawsuit there seeking to enforce a multimillion-dollar judgment granted against him in Utah in favour of Speer’s widow.
The Canadian Press