Chronology: A look at the long legal odyssey of Canadian-born Omar Khadr

The Canadian Press
July 8, 2014 02:18 PM

Omar Khadr is seen in Guantanamo Bay's Camp 4 on October 23, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

EDMONTON - 1975: Egypt-born Ahmed Said Khadr migrates to Canada, meets and marries Maha Elsamnah.

1985: Ahmen Said Khadr moves to Pakistan at the height of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, meets Osama bin Laden.

Sept. 19, 1986: Omar Khadr is born in Toronto, but lives with family in Pakistan until 1995.

1995: Khadr's father is arrested in connection with the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, but is freed after then-prime minister Jean Chretien raises the arrest with Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

1996: After briefly returning to Canada, the family moves to Jalalabad in Taliban-controlled eastern Afghanistan, where they live in Osama bin Laden’s compound.

1996: The Khadr brothers begin attending weapons training camps affiliated with the Taliban and bin Laden. The family makes annual trips to Canada to raise money and collect supplies.

October 2001: The U.S. begins military operations in Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

November 2001: The U.S.-backed Northern Alliance rebels chase the Taliban out of Kabul. Omar Khadr flees to his father’s orphanage in Logar, Afghanistan.

June 2002: After training on AK-47s, Soviet PKs and rocket-propelled grenades, Khadr, 15, works as a translator for al-Qaida and conducts a surveillance mission.

July 27, 2002: Two Afghan government soldiers are killed and several U.S. troops sustain injuries as coalition forces move in on Khadr's compound. Khadr throws a grenade that kills U.S. Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Khadr is injured in the melee.

October 2002: Khadr is transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

February 2003: Investigators from the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) interview Khadr at Guantanamo.

March 2004: Khadr’s grandmother, Fatmah Elsamnah, launches lawsuit against the Department of Foreign Affairs, alleging Ottawa failed to protect her grandson’s rights as a Canadian. Elsamnah later launches a similar suit against U.S. authorities.

Aug. 10, 2005: A Federal Court judge says Canadian agencies, including CSIS, are violating Khadr's Charter rights by turning information gleaned in interviews over to U.S. investigators.

Nov. 7, 2005: The U.S. military charges Khadr with conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy in connection with the deadly 2002 skirmish that killed Speer.

Dec. 17, 2005: Khadr's eldest brother, Abdullah, is arrested in Toronto for allegedly acting as an al-Qaida go-between and supplying explosives.

February 2006: A U.S. civil court orders the Khadr family to pay $102 million to Speer's widow and a second soldier injured in the 2002 attack.

March 17, 2008: Khadr alleges that he was threatened with rape and violence by interrogators seeking to extract a confession.

May 23, 2008: The Supreme Court of Canada concludes that Canadian officials illegally shared information about Khadr with the U.S.

July 15, 2008: Khadr’s defence counsel releases video of Khadr being interrogated by CSIS officials in 2003.

Aug. 14, 2009: Canada's Federal Court of Appeal upholds ruling that requires the Canadian government to press for Omar Khadr's return from Guantanamo Bay.

Oct. 7, 2009: Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler is officially dismissed from Khadr's legal defence team.

Jan. 29, 2010: Canada's Supreme Court overturns court orders requiring the Canadian government try to repatriate Khadr, despite agreeing that Khadr's human rights are being violated.

April 29, 2010: Khadr's defence team rejects a plea-bargain offer from U.S. military prosecutors that would have forced him to serve his sentence in a U.S. prison.

July 7, 2010: Khadr tries to fire his three American lawyers, including a military court-appointed military lawyer, saying he has no chance at a fair trial. A judge later refuses to allow it.

July 12, 2010: Ottawa pledges to fight the ruling, ordering it to remedy the breach of Khadr's constitutional rights.

Aug. 9, 2010: Khadr officially pleads not guilty to five war crimes charges, including murder, at a pre-trial hearing. Judge Col. Patrick Parrish rules Khadr's confessions will be admissible as evidence.

Oct. 25, 2010: Amid talk of an agreement, Khadr changes his plea to guilty on all five counts; gets opportunity to apply for a transfer to a Canadian prison after one year in a U.S. facility.

Oct. 26, 2010: Jurors scheduled to attend start of Khadr sentencing hearing.

Oct. 31, 2010: Jurors sentence Khadr to 40 years in prison for war crimes but a pre-trial deal limits the actual sentence to eight years.

May 26, 2011: The Convening Authority for Military Commissions rejects a clemency appeal filed by Khadr. The prisoner had appealed to have his sentence cut in half, arguing that improper testimony swayed the jury at his sentencing hearing.

April 2012: U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta signs off on Khadr’s transfer.

April 18, 2012: Ottawa receives an application from Khadr officially requesting a transfer to Canada from Guantanamo Bay.

July 13, 2012: Lawyers file a notice of application in the Federal Court asking it to review why Canada was delaying Khadr's repatriation.

July 26, 2012: It's revealed that Khadr tried to plead guilty to terrorism charges in Canada for a speedy transfer home. The documents show that the 2008 proposal was rejected by the U.S. military.

Sept. 6, 2012: Ottawa is given videotapes and documents assessing Khadr's mental health by American military officials. The material includes an interview of Khadr by a psychiatrist.

Sept. 29, 2012: A U.S. military airplane brings Khadr back to Canada. He is transferred to the Millhaven Institution near Kingston.

April 28, 2013: Khadr's lawyer says he plans to appeal the terrorism convictions.

May 28, 2013: Khadr is transferred to the maximum security Edmonton Institution.

Sept. 23, 2013: An Edmonton judge hears arguments on whether Khadr is actually serving a youth sentence and should be transferred to a provincial jail.

Oct. 18, 2013: Khadr is denied a transfer to a provincial jail.

Feb. 11, 2014: Khadr's lawyer confirms his client has been transferred out of the federal maximum security prison in Edmonton in to Bowden Institution, a medium-security prison near the town of Innisfail.

April 30, 2014: The Alberta Appeal Court hears arguments on where Khadr should serve his time.

May 22, 2014: Speer's widow and an American soldier blinded by the grenade sue Khadr for close to $45 million.

July 8, 2014: Alberta's Appeal Court grants an application that Khadr to be transferred to a provincial jail.


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