Credits: REUTERS/Janet Hamlin/Pool
OTTAWA - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews shot down as erroneous a report that said convicted terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr would be back in Canada in November.
"The process in regular transfer of offenders situation is about nine months," Toews told reporters Thursday. "We received his application in April."
Khadr's lawyers have accused the government of dragging its feet, but Toews attempted to refocus some of the blame for the delays back to the Americans. Though Khadr applied to be transferred to Canada last year, the Americans only approved that transfer May 23.
Toews requested sealed tapes of psychological evaluations of Khadr conducted prior to his trial this spring, but only received them Sept. 5. Toews said he needed those materials in order to make an informed decision on Khadr's potential threat to public safety.
"I haven't reviewed the tapes yet. I thought the tapes were a crucial aspect in the determination as to Mr Khadr's return to Canada," Toews said. "They are being reviewed in my office. I anticipate making a decision in the near future."
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing to compel Toews to bring Khadr back. Under the Transfer of Offenders Act, Khadr can still be denied repatriation despite his Canadian citizenship if he is deemed a safety threat.
Khadr's lawyers have called the government's actions an "abuse of power." They have also declined numerous interview requests from QMI Agency.