Omar Khadr seeks to ease bail conditions

Former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr is expected to return to an Edmonton courtroom Friday to ask for changes in his bail conditions that would allow him more personal freedoms, including unfettered access to his controversial sister.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Aug. 30 but was put over after lawyers for the Justice Department said they needed time to consult with the federal government.

The hearing will reconvene in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton

Khadr is seeking unrestricted internet access and more freedom to move around Canada while on bail pending the appeal of his conviction by a U.S. military commission for five purported war crimes.

Khadr, 30, an Edmonton resident and recently married — has been on bail for the past two years.

In an affidavit, Khadr said he has been accepted to a nursing program in Alberta and wishes to put his legal matters behind him.

In July, the federal government paid Khadr a $10.5-million settlement for its role in his treatment at the American military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also received an official apology from the federal government.

Current bail conditions stipulate Khadr can only have contact with his sister Zaynab Khadr if one of his lawyers or bail supervisor is present.

Khadr pleaded guilty to murder for the 2002 death of U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer in Afghanistan, and to four counts related to terrorism. He made the pleas in Guantanamo Bay in 2010, where he endured torture and was imprisoned for years.

He was eventually released from American custody to serve the bulk of his eight-year sentence in Canada. The Canadian courts found he should be treated as a youth in the justice system because he was 15 when he was in Afghanistan.

Khadr was first granted bail in April 2015. He has been back in court several times since for different reviews of his bail conditions, such as the removal of an electronic monitoring bracelet and a relaxing of his curfew.

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