The Canadian government dished out $8 million to a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner after a court had ruled that his rights were abused. The deal concerning Omar Khadr, who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, was negotiated last month between his lawyers and the government.
The deal hasn't been without controversy, though, as many Canadians consider him a terrorist. A petition that urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against the deal was shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.
"Canadians should not be forced to pay millions of dollars to a killer," the petition read.
The 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 led to the death of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, a special forces medic. Khadr was suspected of throwing a grenade that killed Speer and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody and returned to Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was released in May 2015.
Khadr's ten years at Guantanamo gained international attention after some dubbed him a child solider. He was the youngest and last Western inmate held at the Cuba-based prison.
The 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling found that Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from the then 15-year-old under "oppressive circumstances," including sleep deprivation during interrogations in 2003, and then shared that evidence with U.S. officials. That sparked Khadr's lawyers to filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, arguing it violated international law by not protecting its own citizen and conspired with the U.S. in its abuse of the detainee.
Fearing that Khadr would get his hands on the money from a wrongful imprisonment suit, Speer's widow and another American solider blinded by the grenade in Afghanistan filed a wrongful death and injury lawsuit against him in 2014. A U.S. judge granted them $134.2 million in damages in 2015.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.