Canada Omar Khadr settlement: Is it true that the deal saved Canada tens of millions?

17:45  12 january  2018
17:45  12 january  2018 Source:   Metro News

Is it true Omar Khadr deal saved Canada millions?

  Is it true Omar Khadr deal saved Canada millions? Is it true Omar Khadr deal saved Canada millions?Yes, the government paid the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner $10.5 million. But, Trudeau said, the taxpayer cost to compensate Khadr for his ordeal could have been higher if the government chose to continue its court battle with him and his lawyers.

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr , shown in Mississauga last summer, received a .5 million payout from the Canadian government. And that begs the question: did the Khadr settlement actually save Canada millions of dollars?

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr , shown in Mississauga last summer, received a .5 million payout from the Canadian government. And that begs the question: did the Khadr settlement actually save Canada millions of dollars?

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, shown in Mississauga last summer, received a $10.5 million payout from the Canadian government. Justin Trudeau argues the cost would have been much higher if the government chose to continue its court battle with him.: Omar Khadr settlement: Is it true that the deal saved Canada tens of millions?© COLIN PERKEL / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO Omar Khadr settlement: Is it true that the deal saved Canada tens of millions?

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in teacher-mode Wednesday when he tried to school an angry heckler — and, by extension, all Canadians — on the Omar Khadr settlement.

Yes, the government paid the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner $10.5 million. But, Trudeau said, the taxpayer cost to compensate Khadr for his ordeal could have been higher if the government chose to continue its court battle with him and his lawyers.

“I hate as a teacher to reward bad behaviour,” Trudeau said, responding to a woman who hectored him from the bleachers during his town hall session at a McMaster University gymnasium Wednesday.

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"There was a Canadian flag flying along with the American flag at our base there, so it 's quite a thing that now Canada is giving millions to a guy who would attack a compound where The government today attempted to lay blame elsewhere for their decision to conclude a secret deal with Omar Khadr .

Canadians don't back Liberals on Omar Khadr settlement : poll. The suit for million Mr. Khadr brought in 2014 after his repatriation to Canada (following his plea arrangement) had a pretty Taking this bitterly contested civil suit to trial would have taken years, cost many tens of thousands of dollars

“The anger that some people feel, and that a lot of people feel, about the payment the government made to Omar Khadr is real,” he said.

“The fact that, if we had extended that court case, it was almost certainly going to cost us in the realm of $30 to $40 million, is a bit of a consolation.”

That line, and his subsequent assertion the Khadr case should serve as a reminder that “we all pay” when governments allow a Canadian’s rights to be violated, has been uttered before. It’s been his standard explanation when asked about the settlement.

And that begs the question: did the Khadr settlement actually save Canada millions of dollars?

The Prime Minister’s Office would not speak on-the-record about Trudeau’s estimate. But legal experts said Thursday it’s not farfetched to say an extended court battle over Canada’s culpability for what happened to Khadr could have been much more expensive than the $10.5 million payout.

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Dennis Edney, one of Khadr’s lawyers, said the costs “absolutely” could have been higher.

After all, the now-31-year-old Khadr was suing the Canadian government for $20 million. The man who was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 in July 2002 confessed to the killing of American Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer as part of a plea deal to get out of the notorious U.S. military jail in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In his lawsuit against the government, he alleged he was tortured, abused, and subjected to “inhuman and degrading treatment” and false imprisonment.

On top of that, in a ruling that led to his return to Canada where he served out the end of his Guantanamo prison sentence, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously agreed Khadr’s rights were violated when Canadian officials interviewed him as a youth without legal representation while he was being deprived of sleep at the U.S. military prison.

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Omar Khadr , a Canadian man who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after fighting US troops in Afghanistan, is getting more than million and an Public Safety Canada spokesman Andrew Gowling said there would be no comment from his department because settlements are private.

“I could go on forever (about) the amount of abuses and disregard … towards this guy,” Edney said. “I think they got off easy with $10.5 million.”

Paul Champ, a litigation lawyer in Ottawa who focuses on human rights and national security, said the government was going to lose the lawsuit “for sure.”

But he added the Khadr case is so exceptional it’s difficult to estimate damages a court would have awarded in the end, with notable cases such as that of David Milgaard ending in a $10 million settlement in 1999 and Steven Truscott receiving $6.5 million in 2008.

“Should there be greater damages in the context of Omar Khadr, given that he was imprisoned in a location where conditions were far worse than Canadian prisons? And furthermore that he was tortured or subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment with the knowledge and — in a sense — complicity of the Government of Canada,” Champ said.

“Would all of those factors lead to much greater damages than $10 million? Very possibly.”

Aside from hefty damages, Champ said national security cases like this would also come with added court costs. These include hiring neutral lawyers known as “friends of the court” to assist with documents from several jurisdictions that have to be carefully handled and redacted, he said.

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For the second time in two days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a pointed critique of his decision to give a settlement worth millions of dollars to Omar Khadr , the Canadian citizen tortured and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for years.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called the settlement "disgusting," saying Khadr 's return to Canada should have been remedy enough. "Justin Trudeau should never have agreed to a secret deal that gave a convicted terrorist millions of dollars," he said Friday.

“That whole process is enormously time-consuming and expensive for the government,” Champ said.

In a blog post written after the $10.5-settlement was reported last summer, University of Ottawa lawyer Craig Forcese outlined his estimate that a trial on the Khadr lawsuit could have cost as much as $40 million. He pointed to the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian who was deported to Syria and tortured in prison. A commission that reviewed his case cost $20 million, and Arar received a $10 million settlement in 2007.

On Khadr, Forcese wrote: “I think an all-in number in the $30-40 million range, including damages, costs to the court, etc. was very possible, even likely, and maybe even low-balling.”

Of course, these figures are just educated guesses. Barry Swadron, a Toronto lawyer with years of experience in human rights and police abuse cases, said it’s impossible to know precisely how much a Khadr case would have cost without more information.

Edney, Khadr’s lawyer, said the aim for the settlement was to arrive at a figure — $10.5 million — that most Canadians would accept as fair. To his surprise, many people appear to disagree that it is.

“The abuse that Omar went through, they don’t seem to be worried about that. It’s more about money,” he said.

“What does that say about Canadians?”

With files from Michelle Shephard

So much of the Joshua Boyle story just makes no sense .
I don’t believe Joshua Boyle.Never have.Not the alleged abduction of Boyle and pregnant wife Caitlin Coleman in Afghanistan by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network, not their diverse reasons for venturing into a benighted and extremely dangerous war-ravaged country where the Taliban has been clawing back swaths of territory since NATO and American forces withdrew, not the purportedly wretched circumstances in which they were held captive for five years, and not the inconsistent details of a rescue operation conducted by Pakistan commandos last October.

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