Ex-Gitmo inmate ordered to pay $134m to victims

LOS ANGELES - A US court has ordered former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr to pay $134.2 million in compensation over a 2002 grenade attack that killed two US soldiers in Afghanistan, the victims’ lawyer said Thursday.
Attorney Laura Tanner welcomed the ruling, although she said her clients had no illusions about their prospects of securing the money from Canadian-born Khadr.
“The ruling is a really great victory for our clients, and whether we are able to collect on that judgment is now the question,” Tanner told AFP, commenting on the judgment in Salt Lake City last month.
“The next step is going to be to work with Canadian counsel and domesticate the judgment in Canada, so that it functions like a Canadian judgment... and pursue whatever avenues we can to collect whatever we can.”
Khadr was repatriated to Canada in September 2012, after spending 10 years in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba following his arrest in Afghanistan as a teenager in 2002.
He was sentenced for eight years in 2010 following a military hearing in which he agreed to plead guilty over a grenade attack that killed US soldier Christopher Speer and injured Layne Morris.
But he was released on bail in May, after a Canadian appellate court rejected the government’s attempt to keep him in prison. Khadr’s bail conditions include restrictions on his movements and electronic monitoring.
Tanner said chances of getting the full $134 million from Khadr were “very slim,” but added that the prospect “of collecting something against him, I think we’ve got a pretty good chance.”
“At this point I don’t think it’s really about the money for the clients... I think whatever we are able to collect against the judgment is going to be welcomed by them, but I don’t think they have any expectations.”
Khadr’s father, Ahmed Said Khadr, an Egyptian-born Canadian, was considered an influential member of Al-Qaeda. He was killed in Pakistan in 2003.