Omar Khadr, the Canadian, held by U.S. authorities since he was 15 years old has pleaded guilty to all five terrorism charges against him before a military tribunal at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Omar Khadr, now 24, pleaded guilty Monday, as part of a deal to limit his sentence.
Khadr's sentencing is expected to take place this week. A military jury of seven people will decide his sentence, which cannot be more severe than agreed to in the plea bargain. Terms of the plea bargain have not been released.
Khadr is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier during a battle in Afghanistan in 2002. The charges against him include murder, conspiracy, espionage, and providing material assistance to terrorism. The charges could have resulted in a life sentence.
Khadr earlier had filed pleas of not guilty, saying a guilty plea would justify his imprisonment by the U.S. while he was still underage. But his lawyer said he felt his client's best option was to work out a plea deal.
Khadr is the son of an al Qaida operative who was killed in 2003. His trial has drawn international criticism because of his age when captured.
Reports suggest that under one plea deal, Khadr could receive an eight-year prison sentence, most of which could be served in Canada.
Any plea agreement involving Canada would have to be agreed to by Washington and Ottawa. While reports say Washington supports such a deal, a spokeswoman for Canada's Foreign Affairs minister said Monday that the matter is between Khadr and the United States. She declined to comment further.
- Monday, October 25, 2010