Omar Khadr: Peace-loving Canadian or al-Qaeda royalty?
By Mark Gollom, CBC News
Posted: Jul 19, 2012 5:16 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2012 5:03 AM ET
In preparation for his 2010 trial at a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Omar Khadr was interviewed by psychiatrists, including Dr. Michael Welner, who testified for the prosecution, and Dr. Stephen Xenakis, who worked for but ultimately did not testify for the defence.
Welner spent seven to eight hours with Khadr over two days, while Xenakis says he has spent more than 200 hours with the inmate.
The two doctors came up with vastly divergent opinions of the 25-year-old Canadian, who in a deal with prosecution pleaded guilty to the murder of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Khadr was captured following a battle in Afghanistan in 2002 and accused of throwing a hand grenade that killed Speer.
Khadr, who is currently imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, agreed in a plea deal to a sentence of eight years, with no credit for time served, with the first year spent in U.S. custody. The U.S. has agreed to return Khadr to Canada.
Days ago, his lawyers filed a notice of application seeking to ask the Federal Court to review the federal government's failure to ask the U.S. to transfer Khadr to Canadian custody.
It seems inevitable that Khadr will eventually return to Canada, where he could be eligible for parole. But who is the real Omar Khadr? Does the former al-Qaeda fighter pose any kind of threat to Canadians?
CBC News's Mark Gollom interviewed Welner and Xenakis to ask about their different views on Khadr. Xenakis agreed to a phone interview and Welner responded by email. Below is an edited transcript of the interviews.
'Not a threat by any stretch of the imagination'........................http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201 ... eview.html