drummer4now Posted May 8, 2015 Share Posted May 8, 2015 EDMONTON—A relaxed and articulate Omar Khadr thanked the Canadian public, apologized for any pain he had caused, and asked on his first night of freedom that he be given a chance to prove himself. The 28-year-old said he was still “in a bit of shock” about his release Thursday. “Freedom is way better than I thought.” When asked if he had any comment for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose government has fought to keep Khadr detained, he replied: “I’m going to have to disappoint him. I’m not the person he thinks I am.” Khadr made his statements to the press outside the home of his lawyer Dennis Edney, where he will live while on bail. A few neighbours who had come to watch his press conference shouted, “welcome,” as he spoke. VIEW 2 PHOTOS zoom JASON FRANSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS Omar Khadr, left, his lawyer Dennis Edney, right, and Edney's wife Patricia Edney come out of their Edmonton home to speak to media. Khadr will stay with the Edneys as pat of his bail conditions. Khadr also thanked Edney and lawyer Nathan Whitling, who have represented Khadr since 2003, despite the financial and personal cost. This was the day they had waited for — a day that began 12 hours earlier at Edney and his wife Patricia’s home in an affluent Edmonton suburb. Once more, they prepared Khadr’s room, hoping they would bring Khadr home but also expecting to return alone. Indeed, just two days ago their hopes had been crushed when the court decided to keep Khadr in prison for 48 hours while Justice Myra Bielby carefully considered Khadr’s bail options. “I have no idea what to expect,” Edney said before entering the courthouse. MICHELLE SHEPHARD/TORONTO STAR After being freed on bail in Edmonton on Thursday, Omar Khadr enjoyed lunch with his lawyer Dennis Edney. As Bielby read her ruling it was still uncertain which way she would rule on the historic case. But as she neared the end, she said the federal government’s argument about causing “irreparable harm” to diplomatic relations if Khadr was released was “mere speculation.” Whitling glanced at Khadr and gave him a thumbs up. Bielby then paused before saying: “Mr. Khadr, you’re free to go.” With those words, Bielby turned down the federal government’s last-ditch effort to keep Khadr detained. Khadr’s supporters in the courtroom erupted in cheers. Khadr said nothing but a wide smile spread across his face. He shook Edney’s hand. “We’ve done it,” Edney told him as Patricia broke down in tears. Whitling, the first to appear outside court, told reporters: “Whatever anybody might think of Mr. Khadr, he has now served his time.” Bielby noted in her ruling that Khadr had served 12 years for a crime he allegedly committed as a young offender. In Canada, the maximum sentence for youths is six years. Ottawa’s condemnation of Khadr’s release was swift. TANYA TALAGA/TORONTO STAR Lawyer Dennis Edney, left, and his client Omar Khadr, share a laugh before the national news media on Thursday, the first day of Khadr's release from prison in 12 years. “We are disappointed by the decision of the court because we feel that victims should be considered in the decisions,” Public Safety Minster Steven Blaney said at a press conference. Blaney said legal procedures against Khadr are “still underway,” although Ottawa cannot appeal this loss to the Supreme Court of Canada. In an earlier statement, he had said: “Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes, including the murder of American army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer. By his own admission, as reported in the media, his ideology has not changed.” It was not clear what Blaney was referring to — a report released this week by a federal government psychologist said the contrary. In his address to reporters, Edney blasted the minister. TANYA TALAGA/TORONTO STAR Omar Khadr, 28, glances over to the media cameras camped out at his new home in an affluenct Edmonton suburb, before he gave a statement to Canadians. “Well, let me say to these guys: why don’t they get a camera and sit with me and challenge me and show me just how stupid I am. Show me and prove to the Canadian public that whatever I have said about Omar Khadr is not true,” Edney said. “We had a young boy at 15 dropped into an abandoned house by his father and we give him no mercy. I would love to take Mr. Blaney on and perhaps he could learn some information.” Edney noted that Canada was the only Western government to not request the repatriation of its citizens from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “We left a child, a Canadian child, to suffer torture. We participated in this torture,” he said. Then Edney turned his sights on Prime Minister Stephen Harper. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/05/07/omar-khadr-.html Not sure how I feel about this tbh.. On one hand he is a convicted and alleged terrorist.. but on the other hand he was only 15 years old. Then you have the fact he was tortured at a young age at Gitmo.. and has suffered subsequent trauma ever since... My biggest fear is if he does do something bad (God forbid) down the road the consequences it might have on the Muslim community particularly in Canada.. I know that the Harper Govt. is pretty pissed off about this... Not really been a good week for them lol. First the whole Iraq propaganda video that apparently risks the safety of Cdn soldiers, NDP winning in Alberta, and now this. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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