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Khadr’s best case for a further remedy was to prove in court that Canada had conspired with the Americans in his alleged mistreatment and that we are therefore liable along with them. He has not done this.
It is quite possible that Trudeau was advised by the Attorney General that, given the risk of a higher ultimate judgment and the costs of continued litigation, a $10.5 million settlement was as good as the government could hope for. If so, Trudeau could have just said that. Many Canadians might still object to the settlement on principle, or believe the government caved prematurely, but at least it would be an explanation.
Other commentators have defended the settlement by comparing it to the case of Maher Arar, to whom Canada apologized and paid $10.5 million in 2007. But the two cases are fundamentally different; if anything, the comparison raises questions about the size of the Khadr settlement.
Governments don’t make confessed killers rich without a reason
In Arar’s case, a formal Commission of Inquiry found that Arar had been deported to Syria, where he was tortured, as a direct result of faulty information provided to the United States by the RCMP. Specifically, the inquiry found that “[t]he RCMP provided American authorities with information about Mr. Arar that was inaccurate, portrayed him in an unfairly negative fashion and overstated his importance in the RCMP investigation.”
In Khadr’s case, by contrast, Canada played no part in his capture in Afghanistan or his subsequent alleged mistreatment in Guantanamo Bay. Canada’s responsibility is at best attenuated and our liability far from clear, yet we are paying him the same sum as Arar, $10.5 million.
This article was originally posted here