In 2010, Canadian-born Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to charges that included the murder of United States Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer. The then 15-year-old was captured after a firefight at an al-Qaeda compound where he was suspected to have thrown the grenade that killed Speer.
He was sentenced to eight years at Guantanamo Bay, in addition to the time he had already served. In 2012, he was sent back to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence, but in 2015, he was released pending an appeal.
According to ABC News, Khadr claimed his guilty plea was made under duress and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that he was under “oppressive circumstances.” His lawyers noted that when he was younger, his family had lived with Osama bin Laden but claimed he was pushed into war by his father.
After his release, the 30-year-old sued the Canadian government for $20 million for wrongful imprisonment and for not protecting its citizen. He won't receive the amount he wanted, but CNN reported he will be getting 10.5 million Canadian dollars, which equates to eight million U.S. dollars, as well as an apology.
While in Ireland on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to confirm the settlement but also didn't deny the payout. “There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion,” Trudeau said.
However, even if Canada does award Khadr the massive payout, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll ever reap the benefits. In an effort to keep the convicted terrorist from getting his hands on the money, Speer's widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him.
ABC reported that a U.S. judge granted her $134.2 million in damages and her lawyer, Don Winder, filed an application so any money Khadr receives will go to her.
U.S. Sergeant Layne Morris was severely wounded in the blast that killed Speer and told CNN:
“This is the third generation of Khadrs that owe humanity an apology, not the other way around. I shudder to think what $10 million (about $8 million US) in the hands of an avowed and accomplished terrorist will do.”
Many people shared his outrage. However, Bob Rae, former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, tweeted that the compensation was “long overdue.”
According to ABC News, Khadr apologized to the families of his victims after his 2015 release and said he wants a fresh start to finish studying to work in health care.