Omar Khadr eligible for day parole



OTTAWA - Convicted terrorist Omar Khadr, whose actions have been called treasonous by many Canadians, is eligible for day parole on Canada Day.

Technically, Khadr could be out on the streets Monday since under Canadian law, he is now eligible for day parole having served one-third of his sentence here.

Khadr has been behind bars for his entire adult life after throwing the grenade that killed an American medic in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15 years old.

As of Monday, he could find himself eligible to work, volunteer, attend classes at school and even move out of a correctional facility and into a halfway house.

But just because Khadr is eligible for his first taste of freedom doesn't mean he'll get it.

It is unclear whether Khadr has even applied for day parole and as of October 2012, his lawyers had filed no such application.

Khadr's case has divided Canadians.

While some view him as a "child soldier," others are less sympathetic, with the idea of him becoming a neighbour alarming to many.

U.S.-based psychologist Dr. Michael Welner, who interviewed Khadr while he was imprisoned there, believes him to be an "unrepentant jihadi" who was "seeking martyrdom" at the time of the deadly 2002 attack.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Khadr "is a convicted terrorist (who) pleaded guilty to the murder of Christopher Speer, an American Army medic."

"Decisions related to his future will be made by the independent Parole Board of Canada," Julie Carmichael told QMI Agency.

Calls to the Parole Board as well as to Khadr's lawyer went unanswered.

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