Judge denies request to freeze ex-Gitmo prisoner's assets


An American court earlier awarded Tabitha Speer and Morris US$134 million in a wrongful death and injury suit against Khadr.

"The scant evidence offered in support of this pleading consists of double and triple hearsay statements drawn from media reports and Wikipedia", Whitling wrote in a court filing urging the court to dismiss the families' request against Khadr.

Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of U.S. Army Sgt. That U.S. ruling declares that he owes $134-million (U.S.) for his alleged actions in Afghanistan.

Following an address to the Stampede Investment Forum in Calgary on Tuesday, Rachel Notley was asked what she thought about the reported $10.5 million payout to the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

The plaintiffs are seeking an urgent freeze order in Ontario Superior Court on Mr. Khadr's assets, pending the ultimate outcome of their bid to enforce a 2015 default US civil court judgment against Mr. Khadr in Ontario.

The judge hearing today's case had said the request to freeze Khadr's assets pending a trial was "extraordinary".

In support of their motion, Speer and Morris lean heavily on Canadian news reports about the money, and about steps he took to ensure the payment was sheltered to prevent Speer's lawyers from getting at it.

"The court can not assess the credibility or reliability of the information, and can not even determine whether the source's own information constitutes hearsay, double hearsay, lies or speculation", Whitling writes. "The applicants have repeatedly requested assurances that the assets will not be dissipated". The "evidence" has no relevance to the case and comes nowhere near to any kind of "convincing proof", Whitling says. Another former American soldier, Layne Morris, right, was injured in the firefight. He was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer. He spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay before returning to prison in Canada.

Khadr did not defend himself in the Utah case - he was in jail in Canada serving out the sentence given to him by the military commission.

His factum notes it has always been "uncontroversial" that Khadr as a minor was detained without charge in a "legal black hole" and without access to a lawyer or family for years.

Whitling also says that the Utah judgment was based entirely on Khadr's guilty pleas at Guantanamo, where he faced abuse and had his rights violated.

Furthermore, Whitling argues that recognizing the Utah judgment could conflict with Canadian public policy, which is grounds for a Canadian court to disregard the foreign judgment.