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Khadr money freeze request rejected

Last Updated Jul 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm EDT

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, 30, is seen in Mississauga, Ont., on July 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

A judge in Toronto has dismissed a request to freeze Omar Khadr’s assets.

Justice Edward Belobaba said the request for an injunction from the widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan was “extraordinary” and the decision to reject it was not difficult in law.

Tabitha Speer and a former U.S. soldier had asked for the injunction to preserve any money the federal government paid Khadr for breaching his rights. Ottawa reportedly paid the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner $10.5 million last week.

Speer’s legal action came as she seeks to have a Canadian court enforce a US$134-million award against Khadr from Utah.

Her husband, U.S. Sgt. Chris Speer, was killed in Afghanistan in July 2002.

Khadr admitted to throwing the grenade that killed Speer, but later recanted, saying it was only so he could get away from American custody in Guantanamo Bay.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he shares the concerns of Canadians who object to reports of the government’s multi-million dollar settlement.

But Trudeau says if the government hadn’t settled with the former Guantanamo Bay inmate it would have cost the government as much as $30 to $40 million to settle the case.

Khadr filed a $20-million lawsuit against the government for violating his Charter rights, and has received an out-of-court settlement reportedly worth $10.5 million.

The payout has angered rank and file Canadians, as well as veterans groups, and has exposed the Liberals to scathing political attacks from the opposition Conservatives.

Khadr was sent to the U.S. prison when he was 16 years old after being captured during a fire fight with U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002.

Trudeau says the lesson for future governments is that when they violate a Canadian’s rights, everyone pays.