Canadian pleads guilty in Guantánamo trial

Canadian captive Omar Khadr pleaded guilty on Monday to all five terrorism charges against him in the US war-crimes tribunal at the Guantánamo Bay naval base as part of a deal that would limit his sentence.

Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and is now 24, admitted he conspired with al-Qaeda and killed a US soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan. Before finalising the plea, the judge said he would question Khadr to ensure the defendant understood he was waiving his right to appeal.

Terms of the plea deal were not immediately disclosed, but lawyers had reportedly discussed an agreement that would let Khadr serve one more year at Guantánamo and then seven years in Canada.

The plea deal would end a widely criticised trial that made the US the first nation since World War II to prosecute someone in a war-crimes tribunal for acts allegedly committed as a juvenile.

Khadr is the second man to plead guilty in the tribunal during the administration of US President Barack Obama, whose efforts to close the detention camp have been blocked by Congress. He is the fifth captive convicted since the US established the tribunals to try foreign captives on terrorism charges after the September 11 attacks in 2001. — Reuters


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