Source: Globe and Mail/The Canadian Press
Globe and Mail/The Canadian Press, May 29, 2013, 12:52 PM EDT
Former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr woke up in an Alberta prison Wednesday after months stuck in isolation at a penitentiary in Ontario where an inmate had threatened his life, The Canadian Press has learned.
Khadr was flown to the Edmonton Institution Tuesday, potentially ending a situation in which he had been deprived of prison programming that complicated efforts to seek parole, his lawyer Dennis Edney confirmed.
“Hopefully, this is a positive step in his long journey to freedom,” the Edmonton-based Edney said.
“I hope that this is a new start for Omar, an opportunity for people to see him as he really is – as someone who poses no threat to Canada, someone who has no radical viewpoints.”
The transfer allows Khadr to be closer to his lawyer and should obviate concerns about any negative influence from his family in Toronto, some of whom expressed sympathy for al-Qaeda several years ago.
The maximum-security Edmonton Institution is home to about 225 inmates.
The Toronto-born Khadr, 26, was transferred to Canada last September to serve out the remainder of an eight-year sentence handed down by an American military commission for war crimes he pleaded guilty to committing as a 15 year old in Afghanistan.
He spent the next several months in segregation in Millhaven penitentiary west of Kingston, Ont., classified as a maximum-security inmate even though he was considered minimum security before leaving Guantanamo.