Omar Khadr's criminal record in Canada shows 'absolute ignorance': lawyer
Omar Khadr, left, leaves court with his lawyer Nate Whitling, right, after a judge ruled to relax bail conditions in Edmonton on Sept. 18, 2015. (Amber Bracken / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
TORONTO - Omar Khadr's official criminal record in Canada contains oddities and errors that are at odds with how the federal government viewed him on his return from the notorious prison on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The record, obtained by The Canadian Press, makes no reference to the fact that Khadr, 30, was convicted by an internationally condemned U.S. military commission for purported offences he committed as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan.
Instead, the document states only that he was convicted at "Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Youth Court)." It makes no reference anywhere to the United States or the commission.
While it's not clear when the record was first created, Khadr's Canadian lawyers call it bizarre. For one thing, they note there's no such thing as a Guantanamo Bay youth court.
However, despite the document, the Canadian government argued strenuously for years against treating Khadr as a young offender -- placing him, for example, in a series of maximum security adult prisons on his return to Canada in September 2012.
Additionally, the lawyers say, the record appears to formalize the fact that Khadr was convicted as a youth for alleged crimes that occurred in a war zone, which would make him a child soldier -- a label the government has also always avoided.