US victims launch $44.7M civil case against Omar Khadr
OTTAWA — The American victims of convicted terrorist Omar Khadr are suing him for $44.7 million.
The suit was filed in a Utah court Wednesday, on behalf of Christopher Speer, the U.S. Army combat medic killed by Khadr in 2002, as well as his wife and young children, and another soldier, Layne Morris, who was injured and blinded by a grenade thrown by Khadr in Afghanistan.
Morris is asking for $2.5 million. He lost sight in one eye after shrapnel from a grenade tossed by Khadr severed his optic nerve.
Laura Tanner, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, said there is precedent for civil suits against terrorists.
"We sued (Omar's) father 10 years ago and were successful in getting a similar amount of money," she told QMI Agency. "This is based on the international terrorism statute, a remedy for victims of crime for behaviour conducted as a criminal terrorist."
According to documents filed with the Utah court: "Speer was placed in severe and prolonged extreme apprehension, suffered extreme fear, terror, anxiety, emotional, physical and psychological distress and trauma as a result of his injuries before his death."
A Canadian citizen, Khadr was 15 years old when he fought in Afghanistan with al-Qaida against U.S. soldiers.
His now-deceased father, Ahmed Khadr, had ties to the terror group and reportedly brought two of his sons to train with operatives in and near Afghanistan.
Khadr was detained in Guantanamo Bay for a decade. In 2010, the Americans handed Khadr an eight-year sentence -- with the chance to return to Canada -- for pleading guilty to war crimes, including the murder of Speer.
After being repatriated to finish his sentence in Canada last year, Khadr was later transferred to a medium-security prison, the Bowden Institution, this past February.
Khadr has launched a lawsuit of his own, against the Canadian government, claiming $60 million. Khadr claims his charter rights were breached, that he was ill-treated by the feds as a minor, and wants money in punitive damages.
In an exclusive interview with Sun News, Morris slammed the Canadian government for "assisting" Khadr.
"Omar Khadr is being assisted by Western society and the Canadian government in particular," he said.
"We've got 30 years of the Khadr family and politicians making horrible decisions on that family and it coming back to bite all of us."
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