TORONTO — Canadian lawyers acting for the widow of an American soldier have filed an application in Alberta seeking enforcement of a U.S. damages award against former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.
The claim calls on the Court of Queen’s Bench to recognize the judgment from Utah, and to issue a judgment in the US$132.1 million award made in June 2015. The application essentially duplicates one filed earlier in Ontario.
The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops after a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. Khadr was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer.
Tabitha Speer, the soldier’s widow, and Layne Morris, who was blinded in the 2002 firefight, won the wrongful-death judgment against Khadr two years ago in Utah.
Khadr, who recently got married, was paid US$8 million by Canada’s government last month under a court ruling that his rights were violated while he was locked up at the American prison for a decade.
One of Khadr’s Edmonton-based lawyers, Nate Whitling, said on Thursday that it would be a waste of time and money to try two identical actions at once.
“It’s two duplicative actions and there’s no point in proceeding with both of them,” Whitling said from Edmonton.
He also said the Alberta action had been filed too late.