Credits: QMI AGENCY
When the Swirl Face pedophile, Christopher Neil, returned to Canada after five years in a Thailand prison, he was arrested by the RCMP the moment he stepped off his plane in Vancouver.
Think Christopher Neil, and now think Omar Khadr.
Like Canada's poster boy for terrorism, the 37-year-old Neil is Canadian-born and, as even authorities admit, he has committed no known criminal acts here.
Yet, Neil was hauled off to jail upon his arrival in Canada last weekend to await the judicial assessment that would determine conditions of his release. That has now been done. The conditions include therapy, surrendering his passport, staying away from places where children under 16 would congregate and not having access to the Internet.
It was a brilliant move by authorities. Section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada is aimed at protecting society from known sex predators, and it gave law enforcement the clout needed to detain Neil as someone considered a high risk to reoffend.
Neil was once the subject of an international manhunt after he posted an online video of his sexual assault on a young boy in Bangkok, but with his own face disguised behind a digital swirl that took experts to decode.
In other words, he had garnered huge headlines.
Like Omar Khadr.
In the 1990s, Parliament created Section 810.01, an amendment to Section 810.
Its preamble reads: "A person who fears on reasonable grounds that another person will commit a criminal organization offence or a terrorism offence may, with the consent of the Attorney General, lay an information before a provincial court judge."
Notice the words "terrorism offence," for they are the key to doing to Omar Khadr what RCMP in B.C. were able to do with convicted child molester Christopher Neil.
Under Section 810.01, if a provincial court judge is satisfied a defendant like Khadr was convicted previously of a terrorism-related offence, for example, and believes he might do it again, the judge can order a two-year recognizance -- to keep the peace, to not associate with known criminals or terrorist organizations, to have no involvement with firearms or explosives, to remain within a defined geographic area and to wear an electronic tracking device. And, if he refuses, he's hauled back to prison.
If he concedes to the rules of his release, fine. But authorities can apply for a continuance of conditions under Section 810.01 the moment the previous recognizance is about to expire.
It's akin to parole on the instalment plan.
When Omar Khadr was flown home from Guantanamo Bay last weekend, Safety Minister Vic Toews indicated Khadr would have his next years determined by the National Parole Board (NPB) until his fixed-day release on Oct. 30, 2018.
If law enforcement is on the ball, it will have completed all the paperwork to see Section 810.01 presented to a judge so that serious considerations can be given to heavily restrict Khadr¹s movements.
One of those conditions -- which should be front-and-centre in any NPB decision on Khadr's parole before 2018 -- would be that Khadr cut off all contact with members of his al-Qaida worshipping Toronto family, or be immediately returned to prison.
Freedom has a price, and Omar Khadr has not yet paid it. If he ends up serving his full sentence, it should not mean his tab has been paid in full.
But a life being constantly monitored, as Section 810.01 can demand, might just fill the bill.