Court orders release of Khadr brother
By JONATHAN JENKINS, City Hall Bureau
TORONTO – Accused by the United States of running guns and planning terror attacks with al-Qaida, Abdullah Khadr walked out of a downtown Toronto court Wednesday after a judge stayed his extradition hearing.
“In this case the sum of the human rights violations suffered by Khadr is both shocking and unjustifiable,” Judge Chris Speyer wrote in his decision.
“In my view, given this gross misconduct, there cannot be a clearer case that warrants a stay.”
The judge found Khadr, 29, and the son of Ahmed Said Khadr, the now dead fundraiser and aid worker accused of close ties with Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, was arrested and held illegally by Pakistan in 2004, at the behest of the CIA.
The U.S., the judge said, was “the driving force” behind the detention – during which Abdullah Khadr was beaten but not tortured – and worked with Pakistan’s intelligence service to block Canadian consular access to its citizen and delay his repatriation to Canada.
Incriminating statements Khadr gave while in detention were “manifestly unreliable,” the judge ruled, and sending him to Boston for trial on such evidence would not be fair.
“It must also be recognized that there will always be a tension, especially in troubled times, in the balancing of intelligence and security issues with cherished democratic values, such as the rule of law and protection from human rights violations,” the judge wrote.
“In civilized democracies, the rule of law must prevail over intelligence objectives.”
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the decision was being reviewed. Officials at the U.S. consulate – across the street from where Khadr walked out of custody – also declined to comment until the Canadian government makes a decision on whether to appeal.
Outside court, Khadr and his lawyer Dennis Edney declined to speak to QMI Agency.
Abdullah is the oldest of four sons Ahmed Khadr took with him to Pakistan during the 1980s, where he became closely associated with many of the mujahadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
U.S. authorities accused him of complicity in the 9-11 attacks. He was killed in a gun fight with Pakistani security forces in 2003. His youngest son, Abdul Karim, was shot and paralyzed in the same shootout.
He now lives in Toronto.
Omar Khadr, remains the only Canadian detainee at Guantanamo Bay where he is soon to go on trial for allegedly killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15.
Abdurahman, the self-described “black sheep” of the family, has also been detained at Guantanamo. He was released in 2003, by some accounts, after agreeing to work for the CIA.